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KNOXVILLE - A report released this morning by Knoxville police sheds little light on who kicked an unconscious off-duty officer left lying in the middle of Cumberland Avenue during a bar brawl involving multiple University of Tennessee football players.
The report states that police found off-duty officer Robert Capouellez unconscious "lying on the eastbound lanes of Cumberland Avenue, in front of the business." The officer, who was not in uniform, was "bleeding from his head area," according to the report.
The suspect in Capouellez' assault is listed only as an unknown male age 18-30 on the report.
Capouellez was released Monday from the University of Tennessee Medical Center where he was admitted after the 1:51 a.m. July 9 brawl at the Bar Knoxville, 1820 Cumberland Ave. He has not returned to work.
"He's still under a doctor's care," Knoxville Police Department spokesman Darrell DeBusk said this morning.
Another University of Tennessee football player was implicated in last week's brawl with the release of a Knoxville police incident report Tuesday.
Chase Nelson, 22, is accused of starting a fight with 20-year-old bar patron Gary Russell inside the bar, according to Russell's statement to the KPD taken that morning while he was being treated at a hospital.
The fight quickly escalated as several more patrons entered the fray, which spilled outside onto the sidewalk. Capouellez, who attempted to intervene, was hit in the head and knocked to the ground, where a suspect kicked him several times.
Russell, who also was treated and released from UT Medical Center, could not be reached for comment Tuesday. However, in a story posted on espn.com Tuesday night, Russell said Montori Hughes and Denarious Moore were the only two players he could positively identify and that Hughes started the fight by pushing him and then punching him in the chest after Russell bumped into Hughes on his way from the bathroom.
Hughes, a 19-year-old freshman defensive tackle, has offered a different version of events through his attorney Gregory P. Isaacs.
Isaacs said the brawl erupted when "an unknown patron" attacked Hughes "without provocation."
A UT athletic department official, who asked not to be identified because of the ongoing investigation, said an internal review indicated Nelson wasn't present the night of the brawl.
No one has been charged yet in the assaults against either Russell or Capouellez.
Darren Myles Jr., 19, is charged with assaulting a UT Police Department officer, evading arrest and resisting arrest. The sophomore safety, who previously was charged in April with public intoxication, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, has since been kicked off the team.
Da'Rick Rogers, 19, is charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Rogers, along with Myles, Moore, 21, and players John Brown, 22, and Matthew Milton, 18, all have been named as possibly being involved in the beating of Capouellez, according to UTPD reports.
Players Marlon Walls and Greg King, who have not been mentioned in police reports, were indefinitely suspended from the team by head coach Derek Dooley on Friday.
Yet the newly released KPD incident report, based on Russell's hospital interview with police, is the first instance that Nelson has been mentioned as being involved - at least by name.
On a sports call-in radio show on WNML on Friday, a caller identifying himself as "Allen" and claiming to be a co-owner of Bar Knoxville said he witnessed a UT player start the initial fight with the patron inside, said host Jimmy Hyams. When asked which player it was, the caller only replied "number 97," Hyams said. Nelson's jersey number is 97.
Bar Knoxville co-owners Allen and Sandy Morton did not return a call for comment Tuesday.
In the same espn.com story, Allen Morton claims he didn't see what started the fight - only that he saw six or seven players beating and kicking Russell. He did not identify those players in the story. He also said he saw Capouellez being kicked but could not identify the attacker.
Nelson, a senior defensive tackle from Tulsa, Okla., has been serving an academic suspension since the end of the spring semester and has not taken part in any team activities, an athletic department spokesman said Tuesday.
More details as they develop online and in Thursday's News Sentinel.
Staff writers Hayes Hickman, Austin Ward and Mike Strange contributed to this report.