Two days after an arrest for his role in a fight at an off-campus bar, LSU running back Jeremy Hill was suspended indefinitely by coach Les Miles on Monday.
While LSU took official action, new details in a Baton Rouge police report disclosed additional details of the fight at Reggie’s Bar in Tigerland, including Hill and a second suspect reportedly exchanging a high-five after attacking a male victim from behind and the running back denying he’d taken part in the fight even after being shown video by police.
It remains unclear if Hill, who is charged with misdemeanor simple battery, will miss any games this fall, or whether he will return for preseason workouts starting in August.
Miles, who returned from an appearance on the NFL Network during its draft coverage in New York, said in a statement he would not comment publicly until the matter involving Hill had been adjudicated.
Last season, Hill gaining 755 yards and scoring 12 touchdowns on 145 carries. This spring, he was atop the LSU depth chart, and rushed 103 yards on 13 carries during the Tigers’ spring game April 27.
East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore III said Monday it’s possible the charges against Hill could be upgraded, but added “simple battery is probably the appropriate charge based on what I’ve seen right now.”
New details from the police report include cell phone videos showing Hill walking up behind the male victim and punching him behind his left ear before the second suspect delivered a blow.
Video shows the victim getting up off the ground and walking away from Hill and the other suspect before the pair attacked him from behind. After the man fell to the ground, the footage shows Hill and the other suspect “giving each other high fives and flaunting in front of” the victim, the police report says.
On the video, the camera operator then can be heard saying “Jeremy Hill punching people,” the report says.
Moore said his office received a copy of video shot on a cell phone showing the incident, but his office is “still in the middle of reviewing everything police have obtained.”
“I’d hate to comment right now on what the evidence shows,” Moore said when asked if the video conforms to initial reports of the incident. “I’ll just leave it at that.”
When reached by telephone Monday afternoon, the father of the victim declined to comment.
Clifford Crouch, the investigating officer for Baton Rouge police, was dispatched to the bar, located at 1176 Bob Petit Blvd., at 2:13 a.m. after fellow officers responded to reports of the fight, according to the police report.
When Crouch arrived on scene, there was no fight in progress, but the victim was present. He had minor cuts on his hands and was swaying as he stood. On the back of his head was a lump, and he told police he remembered waking up on the ground after being punched a second time, according to the report.
The victim refused medical treatment at the scene, but he took Crouch’s advice to go to a hospital, according to the report.
Meanwhile, Baton Rouge police Capt. Dwayne Bovia notified LSU officials about the incident, while Crouch contacted university police for assistance in locating Hill, according to the report.
LSU police told Crouch that Hill lived at West Campus Apartments, and they escorted Crouch to the property but did not find Hill there, according to the report. But at 3:50 a.m., LSU police notified their Baton Rouge counterparts they had detained Hill in the parking lot of the complex.
After Crouch arrived at the scene and took Hill into questioning, the running back told the investigating officer he was in Tigerland but not involved in the fight — even after Crouch showed him the video, the report says.
Baton Rouge police are still seeking the second suspect in the incident, and Moore did not have any details regarding whether any progress had been made in locating him.
The police report does not give any descriptions of the second suspect.
“We wish we knew right now,” Moore said. “The Police Department is working on that, and he needs to be found. He should be easy to identify based on what I saw, and I believe someone out there knows exactly who he is.”
The charges also put Hill at risk for violating terms of two-years supervised probation stemming from a plea deal when the running back was a student at Redemptorist High School.
In January 2012, Hill pleaded guilty to misdemeanor carnal knowledge of a juvenile after he and another student engaged in a sexual act with a 14-year-old girl in the school’s locker room.
Hill was sentenced to six months of suspended jail time, and a condition of his probation was that he “refrain from all criminal conduct,” court records show.
Moore said its likely Hill will be summoned to court in the next week to review conditions of his probation, and State District Judge Bonnie Jackson could place additional stipulations on the current terms.
However, any decision about revoking Hill’s parole could follow the standard procedure of waiting for the newest case involving the running back to be resolved.
“She’ll eventually make up her mind as far as any possible revocation,” Moore said.
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