DA: No charges to be brought in bar brawl or in KPD officer assault

Knoxville Police Department Officer Robert Capouellez

Photo by J. Miles Cary

Knoxville Police Department Officer Robert Capouellez

Bar Knoxville on Cumberland Avenue in Knoxville. The bar is on the edge of the University of Tennessee Campus in a part of Cumberland Avenue called 'The Strip.'

Photo by J. Miles Cary

Bar Knoxville on Cumberland Avenue in Knoxville. The bar is on the edge of the University of Tennessee Campus in a part of Cumberland Avenue called "The Strip."

KNOXVILLE - No charges will be brought in the Cumberland Avenue bar brawl involving University of Tennessee football players that left an off-duty Knoxville police officer unconscious in the street.

Knox County District Attorney General Randy Nichols said in a press release today that his office also is unable to bring charges against anyone involved in the July 9 melee inside Bar Knoxville, 1820 Cumberland Ave.

Nichols said he regretted that charges could not be brought, "particularly since Officer Robert Capouellez of the Knoxville Police Department was seriously injured in one of the altercations that occurred."

He said several individuals "that should have had more information about the altercations involved were uncooperative."

"I am afraid that is the norm when we deal with fights and shootings late at night in and around bars" Nichols said.

The police investigation failed "to develop sufficient evidence to bring charges for actions that occurred inside and outside Bar Knoxville that night," Nichols said in the press release.

He also cited contradictory statements provided by witnesses and lack of cooperation on the part of others.

Because of that "it was not possible to determine who committed criminal acts that night at Bar Knoxville," according to Nichols.

The announcement this afternoon came hours after a Knox County General Sessions Court judge dismissed a resisting arrest charge against Vol wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers.

Rogers, 19, must serve 16 hours of community service on a disorderly conduct charge stemming from the brawl.

Rogers admitted he was at the bar but denied being involved in the fight.

Police had charged Rogers and Darren Myles Jr., 19, after the brawl, but neither was accused of assaulting Capouellez, who was treated for several days at the University of Tennessee Medical Center.

Capouellez, 24, was off duty and not in uniform when the brawl erupted, according to Knoxville Police Department spokesman Darrell DeBusk.

Capouellez returned early last month to regular patrol duties.

Myles, a sophomore safety, was charged with assault, evading arrest and resisting arrest. He was kicked off the UT football team.

Myles appeared Aug. 12 in court. He was given judicial diversion on the July 9 charges, which allows for expungement of the offenses if Myles stays out of trouble for two years. The plea agreement included dismissal of earlier charges.

Nichols said he had assigned two assistant prosecutors who worked with Knoxville Police Department investigators on the case.

The brawl began when Gary Russell, 20, was involved in an altercation with another customer, and "several additional patrons jumped into the fight," DeBusk said.

"Employees of the bar intervened and pushed the fight outside onto the sidewalk," DeBusk said. "Officer Capouellez intervened in an attempt to stop the fight when he was attacked."

Witnesses said Capouellez was hit in the head and knocked to the ground, where a suspect "kicked the officer several times before fleeing the scene," DeBusk said.

Nichols said there was no evidence that Capouellez identified himself as a police officer when he intervened in the fight.

Russell, who was also taken to UT Medical Center for treatment, was released from the hospital.

Police detained six potential suspects for questioning after the brawl.

According to UT Police Department reports, players John Brown, 22; Matthew Milton, 18; Denarious Moore, 21; Myles Jr.; and Rogers were identified as possibly being involved in the beating of Capouellez.

Another man, identified in records as Jerran Talley, 19, of Athens, allegedly was with the group involved in the beating. Talley is not a UT student and has not been charged.

The assistant DAs reviewed evidence and statements, according to Nichols, and could not resolve conflicting accounts given by various witnesses of what happened.

He said most witnesses were unable to identify who may have committed assaults at the bar, and some witnesses identified people who were not present.

He said Capouellez has no recollection of "how and by whom he was assaulted."

DeBusk released a statement this afternoon on behalf of KPD.

"On Monday, the Knoxville Police Department was notified by the Knox County District Attorney General's Office that they would not seek charges in relation to the incident that left Knoxville Police Department Officer Robert Capouellez injured. Although disappointed with the outcome the department understands the hurdles that would need to be overcome for a successful prosecution.

"The fact of the matter remains, Officer Capouellez was severely injured due to no fault of his own. He was attacked and left lying unconscious in the road. The department will continue to follow up on any additional information that may come to light in the future and provide that information to the DA's office."

More details as they develop online and in Wednesday's News Sentinel.

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Comments » 43

Orangeblood13 writes:

move along

VOLinATL writes:

Yep, on the next bad news involving the UT men's athletic department. Rest assured....it's coming.

TommyJack writes:

Could it be that the KPD didn't want a thorough probe into one of their own's conduct? Hmmm?

The7Maxims writes:

Thank God. Now, I can try and sober up before Saturday.

nomorekoolaid writes:

in response to TommyJack:

Could it be that the KPD didn't want a thorough probe into one of their own's conduct? Hmmm?

YOU ARE A MORON

tnsportsman writes:

in response to The7Maxims:

Thank God. Now, I can try and sober up before Saturday.

LOL 7Maxiums! And we can start drinking all over again Sat at the tailgate, BEAT FL!

Like many Lawyers have told me forever, 'it's not what you believe, but what you can prove' or was that Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men, LOL, either way so true!

GO VOLS, WE ARE UT!

Ayres_Hall writes:

Doesn't the Knox County DA have better things to do than referee college bar fights? Isn't there enough rape, murder, and violent crime to satisfy his career ambitions?

oskie_score writes:

in response to TommyJack:

Could it be that the KPD didn't want a thorough probe into one of their own's conduct? Hmmm?

Never.

Colliervol writes:

As noted earlier, no sober or credible witnesses available at that time of night. I don't know of any police dept. that would give up on a case involving a beating of one of their own unless they just can't find a witness who wasn't three sheets to the wind. Unless of course, as TJ said, they don't want exposure on what one of their own was doing there.

oskie_score writes:

in response to Ayres_Hall:

Doesn't the Knox County DA have better things to do than referee college bar fights? Isn't there enough rape, murder, and violent crime to satisfy his career ambitions?

Sadly, yes there is.

NO_DIGGITY writes:

in response to tnsportsman:

LOL 7Maxiums! And we can start drinking all over again Sat at the tailgate, BEAT FL!

Like many Lawyers have told me forever, 'it's not what you believe, but what you can prove' or was that Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men, LOL, either way so true!

GO VOLS, WE ARE UT!

Actually it was Marvin Gaye singing it in I Heard it Through the Gravpevine.

"People say beleive half of what you see
Son and none of what you hear."

My guess is the DA heard about 50 stories from 50 people and could not prove who assaulted the Po Po.

allntl1#565211 writes:

Keep your mouth shut and dont nobody say nuthun.
We got to stick together. They got nuthun on us.

jsnewman writes:

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!.... Is NOT great to be a Tennessee Volunteer... Its downright embarrassing!

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

Let's move along, and GET READY FOR FLORIDA!!

jsnewman writes:

So was this brought in front of a grand jury? Da' Rick and his kicking thug boys would be compelled to speak. A man left for dead in the middle of Cumberland Ave is not a harmless college stunt... I guess these guys van literally get by with murder. Nichols, KPD, Dooley and the rest should be ashamed! If Randy Nichols is that inept he should resign!

Bogus writes:

For everyone who wanted to point fingers at these players (Rogers, Walls, King, etc,) and call them thugs for beating a cop, I've got one question: Where you there? Did you see it? Because if KPD couldn't figure it out, I have little faith that you did.

Bogus writes:

in response to jsnewman:

So was this brought in front of a grand jury? Da' Rick and his kicking thug boys would be compelled to speak. A man left for dead in the middle of Cumberland Ave is not a harmless college stunt... I guess these guys van literally get by with murder. Nichols, KPD, Dooley and the rest should be ashamed! If Randy Nichols is that inept he should resign!

You're exactly the type of loser I was talking about.

jsnewman writes:

in response to Bogus:

You're exactly the type of loser I was talking about.

I see you drink the Big Orange Kool-Aid! FYI Some of us UT alums do have character. The circumstances speak for themselves especially if you have the metal faculties to assimilate them.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

As Sgt Schultzie says, "I saw nothing".

Vol86 writes:

Off-duty officer at the bar for.......?

Vol86 writes:

in response to allntl1#565211:

Keep your mouth shut and dont nobody say nuthun.
We got to stick together. They got nuthun on us.

And they did not

Bearwuzacheater writes:

in response to TommyJack:

Could it be that the KPD didn't want a thorough probe into one of their own's conduct? Hmmm?

I know when I was at UT over 20 years ago the KPD was best at pounding the shart out of drunk students on Cumberland Ave, but they usually did it in groups of KPD officers and in uniform!

ibvolman writes:

This is pretty good news I suppose. I just hope it is true that he wasn't really involved to any degree that merrits charges.

Now, if you will excuse me, I ate a really big breakfast, and I need to go make a little Urban.

PepperGrinder (Inactive) writes:

in response to Vol86:

Off-duty officer at the bar for.......?

I bet he was drunk as a skunk or atleast on the way.

voloffaith writes:

in response to jsnewman:

I see you drink the Big Orange Kool-Aid! FYI Some of us UT alums do have character. The circumstances speak for themselves especially if you have the metal faculties to assimilate them.

Seeing you have been on here since 2007 and only have 12 postings tells me this one strikes a nerve. I must have the 'metal' faculties to put together and discern outcomes as another VOL alum from 1976. This is/was an embarrassment to the University as has been explained by our school president. OOPS we still don't have one at an academic institution of our size. Oh well these things play out and hopefully things will quiet down so that eSpN and others won't continue to hang dirty laundry for all to see.

jobrando#216494 writes:

Great news...Now get some WR separation where every ball simms throws is not a jump ball.

utvolfan16 writes:

Isn't Naffy great? His posts are so insightful...a wonderful asset to govols.com. Keep the well thought out posts coming.

jimr07 writes:

in response to TommyJack:

Could it be that the KPD didn't want a thorough probe into one of their own's conduct? Hmmm?

You are right on TJ.

jimr07 writes:

in response to utvolfan16:

Isn't Naffy great? His posts are so insightful...a wonderful asset to govols.com. Keep the well thought out posts coming.

I am totally surprised he did not take the opportunity to bash Peyton. Wonders never cease.

Pullingguard writes:

in response to nomorekoolaid:

YOU ARE A MORON

Why would you make such a statement "calling someone a MORON" His statement could be true for all we know, for they (KPD) are not Saints.

EnoughAlready writes:

in response to steviejanowski:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You guys are pathetic...There has never been any evidence to even suggest the officer was drunk. But don't let the truth stand in the way of you making assumptions based on absolutely no facts. It amazes me how low people will stoop to defend the almighty University of Tennessee and their continued disregard for the truth...that goes for football and basketball.

bobo96 writes:

Most fish die lonely. This only matters here.

Remember the Penn State case a few years ago? Thought so.

Nobody anywhere in the country cares about this and its impact on the reputation of UT overall.

And to the alums from the 70s and 80s on this board. Get off your horse. No bar brawls back then?

Oh yeah, that's right, more like no internet back then.

As I posted here or there or wherever this summer, a bar fight? Prove it.

Case confirmed.

VolAlum2003 (Inactive) writes:

in response to Ayres_Hall:

Doesn't the Knox County DA have better things to do than referee college bar fights? Isn't there enough rape, murder, and violent crime to satisfy his career ambitions?

Yeah, it was pretty stupid for that Knox County DA to try and figure out who put a police officer in the intensive care unit after someone kicked him in the head while he was lying on the ground.

I've never called someone an idiot directly on these message boards, but: You. Are. An. Idiot.

clvolfan writes:

in response to TommyJack:

Could it be that the KPD didn't want a thorough probe into one of their own's conduct? Hmmm?

No,just reverse the color factor,7 whites on 1 black and get ready for Jessie and Al in Knox. town.

EnoughAlready writes:

in response to steviejanowski:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Have you seen the records from the bar and the alcohol levels from the hospital? I'm sure you haven't because as reported on tv news and radio sports shows, the case it not closed and the records are not being released. So again, I stick with my earlier comment that you are making assumptions based on having no facts. My comment stands!

EnoughAlready writes:

in response to steviejanowski:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yes, I do stand by my comments. It certainly appears you have no answer to my questions. Again, you base your statements without ANY facts. I'm finished with this story. No need wasting anymore of my time on people with closed minds and baseless comments.

everydayisorange writes:

in response to EnoughAlready:

You guys are pathetic...There has never been any evidence to even suggest the officer was drunk. But don't let the truth stand in the way of you making assumptions based on absolutely no facts. It amazes me how low people will stoop to defend the almighty University of Tennessee and their continued disregard for the truth...that goes for football and basketball.

As you said, there is no proof that any of the FB players were drunk or even drinking. If one can say that a cop at a bar was not drunk or drinking, the same can be said about the players. Chew on that one for awhile!

196SVol writes:

Hard to criticize the Gators when a cop can be beaten to a pulp and no one gets even a slap on the wrist.

NorthwestVol writes:

Appears to me that no one, including the KPD, know what happened that night. But we sure got a bunch of experts on this board.

nocleats writes:

in response to 196SVol:

Hard to criticize the Gators when a cop can be beaten to a pulp and no one gets even a slap on the wrist.

The cop, off duty and in a bar @ 2am, drinking, got pepper sprayed with the rest of the brawl, and when the bouncers shoved everyone out the door he went falling out himself hitting the ground... Find out who his ex girlfriend was and who she was dancing with just before the brawl and you may have a better understanding of how he ended up in the fight and why the KPD isnt pushing it. The bouncers acted like , well bouncers,

HallowedHill writes:

As far as I recall, KPD has never shown favoritism when it comes to dropping charges on UT football players. Logic would dictate that it has nothing to do with why the charges are being dropped now.
Get over it and let's get down to some football.

sevenmaxims#354995 writes:

in response to The7Maxims:

Thank God. Now, I can try and sober up before Saturday.

Important notice: "The7Maxims" is not the same person that posts on Volquest as "7maxims" and elsewhere as "sevenmaxims”.

HallowedHill writes:

in response to EnoughAlready:

You guys are pathetic...There has never been any evidence to even suggest the officer was drunk. But don't let the truth stand in the way of you making assumptions based on absolutely no facts. It amazes me how low people will stoop to defend the almighty University of Tennessee and their continued disregard for the truth...that goes for football and basketball.

Actually the officer is being described as a 'patron of the bar.' That clearly implies he was there drinking. If this is accurate, he had no business representing KPD while under the influence. He might be green, but that is no excuse for not calling for backup.
Your article definitely wreaks of distaste for UT so I wouldn't expect you to uphold the same standard of 'not making assumptions' and 'disregard for the truth' for both KPD and UT student athletes. However, don't be a hypocritical coward and critize others for the same thing you are doing.
If you hate UT so much, I suggest you find something you love else you risk wasting what is left of your life.

For the rest of us,

GO VOLS!

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