Vols bar brawl: Suspect in stomping of officer still unidentified

Chase Nelson is a senior defensive tackle from Tulsa, Okla. Nelson is said to have started the bar brawl involving a number of UT players is accused of starting the initial fight, according to a Knoxville police incident report released today.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Chase Nelson is a senior defensive tackle from Tulsa, Okla. Nelson is said to have started the bar brawl involving a number of UT players is accused of starting the initial fight, according to a Knoxville police incident report released today.

Knoxville Police Department Officer Robert Capouellez

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Knoxville Police Department Officer Robert Capouellez

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

Photo by UTSports.com

Chase Nelson

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.

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Comments » 132

BillyVol writes:

The plot thickens.

CoverOrange writes:

Was he wearing his jersey with his name on the back of it at the bar?

DaddyVol writes:

Blah blah blah...blah blah

DaddyVol writes:

Before long, we'll have Obama blaming George W. Bush.

kwvolsfan writes:

I would recommend the "OJ" Defense...if the shoe don't fit you must acquit.
I hope the officer is quick to recover and has no serious lasting issues. I trust level heads will prevail and all who were a part are held accountable.
GO BIG ORANGE

TennHillbilly writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

Was he wearing his jersey with his name on the back of it at the bar?

Well, they did say he was on academic suspension, so that tells you he's not too bright.

tn_rockytop writes:

Da'Rick Rogers, 19, is charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Rogers, along with Myles and players John Brown, 22, Matthew Milton, 18, and Denarious Moore, 21, all have been named as possibly being involved in the beating of Capouellez, according to UTPD reports.

Dang man this right here is going to hurt i think the fight inside wont matter its this one that is going to get people kicked off the team

tn_rockytop writes:

in response to steviejanowski:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

lol

bigutvol writes:

Something isn't adding up with this situation.

PepperGrinder (Inactive) writes:

in response to DaddyVol:

Before long, we'll have Obama blaming George W. Bush.

Im blaming Sarah Palin. Word has it that Nelson was wearing an Obama tshirt and Mr. Russell commented on it. Hughes overheard it and made a remark on Sarahs lack of intelligence. An incensed Russell then went berzerk calling Hughes a Marxist pinko liberal and then threw a punch at Hughes. Chaos ensued.

DenverVol writes:

in response to steviejanowski:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

LOL. That's a good one.

chaos001 writes:

why the hell is the owner of the bar allegedly calling into a radio show anyways? Can you imagine what kind of "business" they're going to have at the first home game? I can see an army of p/o'd Volunteer fans doing some ugly stuff there.

i say we throw every single one of the ones involved off the team in a heartbeat.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to steviejanowski:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You couldn't pay me enough to go to Tuscaloosa, much less (shudder) put on a Bama jersey. jk

BigDave486 writes:

I hate to say this but it appears that this group acted more like a street gang than University of Tennessee Volunteer football players. CD2, and the rest of the staff, have their work cut out to change the culture of this football program.

I should mention though that the challenges that CD2 faces in mentoring these young men and teaching life lessons is a little too late for some. Most of what needs to be taught should have been addressed at much younger ages by the PARENTS!

But everyone must keep in mind, it is NOT just our beloved program that is experiecing behavioral problems with football players, as well as other atheletes. This is a cultural issue that has infected our society and has far reaching effects, not just with our sports programs.

Just my thoughts . . . GBO

CoverOrange writes:

in response to iamnotDCtoo:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

They were celebrating aceing their midterms.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to steviejanowski:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

In that case, no one needs to go to Alabama. Just call up Jimmy Hyams and say you own a bar in Timbuktu and Julio Jones stole your text book while on a free fishing trip and he was holding red panties.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to naffy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You contradict yourself with you own words. Which is it? Did he start the fight? OR Did he not mind his own business? like you say. He cant start a fight and jump in to stop it. Regardless of your negative view of this officer, this is going to turn out bad for some UT players. One has already been kicked off and suspensions handed out and more to come it sounds like. If this police officer did just try to stop a fight, which is what every article I've read says, he had more courage than me. Maybe he should have waited till on duty police got there, but the instinct to help caused him to get hurt. Whoever is responsible wont have to worry about being kicked off the team. They will be worried about going to jail.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to allVolinGA:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Just thought it was odd the caller said his number instead of his name.

chrisw2967 writes:

Theres so much he said she said stuff going on that they may never solve this case.
I still cant believe Dupree hasnt been implicated in this.Wehere was Dupree ?

VolinCalif writes:

in response to TennHillbilly:

Well, they did say he was on academic suspension, so that tells you he's not too bright.

Seams i heard Einstein failed general Math in grade school, May not be true but his parents had a hard time getting him into formal school. Had they not had money he may never have gotten a formal ED.

VolGrad writes:

in response to iamnotDCtoo:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

So you are leaving the door open to the possibility that this whole thing was YOUR fault?

skyhawk836 writes:
tndrum#214683 writes:

That's weird. Chris Lowe's piece says Montori Hughes and Russell were into it first, and he never mentions Chase Nelson. The KNS piece says Russell wasn't available for comment, but Lowe talks to him and has a picture of him and his black eyes. Hmmm. At any rate, disturbing story no matter who's involved. Here's Lowe's stuff http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/st...

redskinvol1 writes:

How do we know a fan with a jersey on wasn't the one that started the fight?If it was Nelson,he will be gone.Let's not ask for everyone to be kicked off the team.Suspensions will do.

Wandering_Vol writes:

in response to naffy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree with you for the most part. We can't say for sure what happened and what started the fight, everyone will have their own ideas of what happened.

But I do wonder what a 24 year old non student out of uniform cop was doing hanging out in a college bar at 2 in the morning on a random weeknight. At the very least, I question his maturity and thus question his role in all of this.

No matter how this started, the beating these guys took was excessive and they need to be reprimanded.

I don't care who goes as long as they don't conform to the standards that we need at UT. This is very disheartening. But I tell you I'm tired of hearing about this "hero" cop.

redskinvol1 writes:

2 to 4 games

1volk-nowi-tall writes:

Bar serving underage drinkers. That is much of the problem here.Yet it appears that they will skate free. This Bar needs to be shut down for a good while so the owners can get their priorities straight. They need to follow the law and not allow underage drinking.

PepperGrinder (Inactive) writes:

in response to SECFB:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Not hard to imagine when you factor in alcohol.

chaos001 writes:

This is going to get MUCH WORSE before things ever get any better.

Bigger_Al writes:

Meanwhile, why hasn't any national media picked up on this?

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports...

The paper had to use state law to get UF to turn this over. It was on ESPN's ticker yesterday, but never made it to ESPN.com?

This is Kremlin-like control over the media. Urban Meyer - Pete Thayer love affair keeps this off-limits?

TheOpinion writes:

A 5'8 215lb guy picking a fight with a 6'4 312-320lb DT sounds crazy but its possible. I've seen some smaller guys run their mouth and what not. But that guy looks 250 not 215. Anyways Hughes said the two bumped into each other earlier in the night and exchanged words. Then they bumped into each other again (easy to do at BAR Knox on a thursday night the place is packed) and then Hughes says as he turned around the guy punched him in the back of the head. This lead to Greg King punching the guy because he saw him hit Hughes. The rest of the players jumped in and beat the guy silly. Before it got pushed outside and they continued fighting with the guys friends who were trying to break up the fight. I've heard multiple people say that Russell and the off-duty cop are friends and were there together. Which explains why the UT players beat up the cop as well. Its hard to know what's true and what's not when everyone is looking out for their best interest. VIP treatment *Vols In Prison treatment*

AllforTenn writes:

in response to EchoEcho:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Agree completely. KPD was only passing along Russell's version of what occurred. KPD probably didn't go so far as to pin the instigation on anyone; only to report what Russell told them.

Very irresponsible, but what do we expect from the News Sentinel?

TheOpinion writes:

in response to AllforTenn:

Agree completely. KPD was only passing along Russell's version of what occurred. KPD probably didn't go so far as to pin the instigation on anyone; only to report what Russell told them.

Very irresponsible, but what do we expect from the News Sentinel?

In Chris Low's article the victim says it was Hughes not Nelson. So the guy must've drunk when he gave his statement. Multiple sources say Nelson wasn't even at the bar when the brawl happened.

ConvertedCat writes:

I'm amazed that some of you guys are justifying this thug animal like behavior. A man laid on the ground unable to defend himself and was kicked several times by UT football players. I know it's going to be a rough season in K-town, but good grief people get a grip. ANY player that kicked a man in the head should be expelled. You guys give us(UK) and other schools hell for minor things, but your players jump on one dude that's 5"8" and it's his fault.. This may be the lowest I've seen the Vol nation sink to.

michael7777 writes:

agree with PL3 - there is no way these many players beat down on one guy like described and the guy only has a black eye and a bruised forearm . I cant imagine what someone would look like if truly beaten like described

smyrnavol writes:

in response to VolGrad:

So you are leaving the door open to the possibility that this whole thing was YOUR fault?

Yeah he works for true-mon here in Rutherford co.(nobody will get that unless you live here), but he's on his knees accepting fault as we speak. Had a bad day just had to go there! GO VOLS!!!

wags32 writes:

Get rid of the wild animals on the football team!! They are a disgrace to the Volunteers!!!

TheOpinion writes:

in response to wags32:

Get rid of the wild animals on the football team!! They are a disgrace to the Volunteers!!!

Animals? As in black players? Or as in humans because we are all animals? Either way we wouldn't have a team you racist pig.

bigorange61 writes:

in response to ConvertedCat:

I'm amazed that some of you guys are justifying this thug animal like behavior. A man laid on the ground unable to defend himself and was kicked several times by UT football players. I know it's going to be a rough season in K-town, but good grief people get a grip. ANY player that kicked a man in the head should be expelled. You guys give us(UK) and other schools hell for minor things, but your players jump on one dude that's 5"8" and it's his fault.. This may be the lowest I've seen the Vol nation sink to.

Bar far, the majority of posters have expressed outrage about what has transpired. Many of the most egregious comments are coming from trolls, and not the so called Vol Nation. Please don't paint us with a broad brush.

dalvol writes:

in response to DaddyVol:

Before long, we'll have Obama blaming George W. Bush.

I DO blame George W. Bush. I would elaborate but you wouldn't even get it, so I'll save my time

boogimn3 writes:

in response to naffy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Nappy!...Good to see you are sticking to your opinion from yesterday...At least if you are going to be a sh@t spreader, be consistent, right?

TNPilgrim writes:

This whole thing is starting to smell funny. Everyone applauded Dooley for dealing swiftly with Myles, King and Walls. Now Myles is beginning to look like a sacrificial lamb who was a thug they could easily do without; King and Walls get "indefinite suspension" which means nothing in the summer and will probably be lifted the Sunday before they play Oregon. It seems rather odd that so much time has passed with no word from Dooley about Rogers (his prize recruit) and nothing from the authorities about the attackers of the young cop - hard to believe they still don't know who they were. All this makes one wonder about the possibility of some serious negotiations going on behind the scenes between UT's attorneys and the DA's office. The longer they stall, the colder the story gets; then they announce in mid-August that certain players will undergo anger management counseling and get probation along with community service. And don't forget the usual contrite apologies which in this politically correct age make criminal and personal offenses evaporate as though they never happened.

One other thing: does anyone seriously believe the chunky white guy is going to start something with a 6'4" 300+ lbs DT who's got about a dozen of his team mates at his side? Considering how much he's being paid, surely Issacs can come up with a better story than that.

redskinvol1 writes:

Till proven guilty.Stop the witch-hunt.Are we jury members?

OrangePsyched writes:

I agree with redskin vol. This story has changed so many times that my head is spinning. I don't know who's innocent or who's guilty. It will all be he said she said and most if not all were drinking. If the officer was a friend of Russell the police will control the investigation and make both look innocent. I'm not taking sides as I don't know what happened, but will we ever? I don't know if CDD will know who actually was involved.

Stepchild_nFL writes:

in response to ConvertedCat:

I'm amazed that some of you guys are justifying this thug animal like behavior. A man laid on the ground unable to defend himself and was kicked several times by UT football players. I know it's going to be a rough season in K-town, but good grief people get a grip. ANY player that kicked a man in the head should be expelled. You guys give us(UK) and other schools hell for minor things, but your players jump on one dude that's 5"8" and it's his fault.. This may be the lowest I've seen the Vol nation sink to.

Agreed

Once the man is down the play is over. It takes a different kind of animal to kick someone when they are down. Dooley has his job cut out for him trying to teach these thugs how to enter a civilized world.

bigOutfan writes:

round 3 coming up... bring on the lawyers

WinkeyVol writes:

Someone needs to build a Chuck E Cheese on the strip so the football players can hang out and drink milk and be back at Gibbs in time for the 11:00 news. It would be a helluva lot healthier and a lot safer too.Go Vols!

tsaecesnitsebhtruof writes:

in response to brown-bag-vol-fan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

As a UT fan you would know this. Go Vols!!!

tsaecesnitsebhtruof writes:

in response to Bigger_Al:

Meanwhile, why hasn't any national media picked up on this?

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports...

The paper had to use state law to get UF to turn this over. It was on ESPN's ticker yesterday, but never made it to ESPN.com?

This is Kremlin-like control over the media. Urban Meyer - Pete Thayer love affair keeps this off-limits?

Apples and oranges.

rocky_topper writes:

Who threw the first punch? Every thought about reporting that? There would be your instigator!

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