Court documents released Saturday afternoon state Notre Dame football player Devin Butler was arrested in South Bend just after midnight that day and could face one count of battery to a police officer and one of resisting law enforcement. Both would be felonies.
Five other men were arrested early Saturday morning as well after a traffic stop in Fulton County and were out of jail by 1 p.m. Saturday. Police confirm they are all Notre Dame football players.
St. Joseph County
Butler, a senior who plays cornerback, was arrested after prosecutors say he tackled and struck a South Bend Police officer outside the Linebacker Lounge Saturday.
SBPD officers Luke Pickard and Aaron Knepper went to the Linebacker on a report of a fight, St. Joseph County Prosecutor Kenneth P. Cotter said in an affidavit. Police resolved an altercation inside the building and were walking aback to their patrol cars when they saw a scuffle between several women outside and began to intercede.
As they did, Butler shoved one of the women, Cotter said. Pickard grabbed Butler, pushed him away from the woman and order him to say back. Instead, Butler swore at the officers and approached them, so Pickard and Knepper tried to detain the 6-foot, 200-pound football player, ensuing in a struggle between Butler and Knepper, Cotter said.
Butler picked the officer up, tackled him to the ground and struck Knepper in the side and stomach, the affidavit said. Butler ripped the officer’s duty belt off of him, leading Knepper to strike Butler and use a stun gun on him. The struggle ended when other officers were able to pull Butler off of Knepper and detain the football player.
Kenpper reportedly had injuries to his elbow, wrist, neck, back and arm and went to Memorial hospital for treatment. He has been released.
Butler apologized while police took him to jail and said he had been drunk and emotional, Cotter said.
Butler was booked in the St. Joseph County Jail at about 1 a.m., the jail confirmed to WSBT.
A court found probable cause that Butler committed the two felonies, but he has not been charged with those crimes , the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office said in a press release Saturday afternoon.
“However, formal charges have not been filed. Instead, The State advised the Court that it needs more time to gather further information, evaluate the case in order to determine whether formal charges are appropriate.”
Prosecutors asked for 72 hours to investigate further. A court set a $10,000 surety or $1000 cash bond for Butler.
The five men were stopped on U.S. 31 near Fulton County Road for speeding just after 10 p.m. by Indiana State Trooper Ben Reason.
When police approached, officers say they smelled marijuana. Officers then found marijuana and a loaded handgun, according to a Indiana State Police release.
Linebacker Te’Von Coney, 19, safety Max Redfield, 21, wide receiver Kevin Stepherson Jr., 18, cornerback Ashton White, 19, and running back Dexter Williams, 19, were the men arrested.
All five were booked into the Fulton County Jail on a misdemeanor charge for possession of marijuana. Three, Redfield, Stepherson and Willaims were also charged with possession of a handgun without a license.
All five football players were riding in a 2007 Ford Focus on U.S. 31 near Fulton County Road 375 North, and Reason pulled the vehicle over for going 73 mph in a 60 mph zone, the release stated. The car also had an improper tail light, police said.
Reason spoke with the driver, White, and believed he smelled marijuana, so he used his drug-detecting dog Cartoush to sniff around the vehicle, the release said. Cartoush indicated narcotics were in the car, and a search later found marijuana and a loaded handgun, police said.
Indiana State Trooper Jessie Reason helped Ben Reason at the scene. One of the officers involved in the arrest of the five players in Fulton County was a Notre Dame alumnus, and the University called authorities soon after the arrest, Indiana State Police told WSBT.
Notre Dame response
Butler and the others arrested could face consequences from their school along with the justice system.
Paul Browne, vice president for public affairs and communications at Notre Dame, issued the following statement:
“Any student arrested on a felony charge also faces dismissal from the university. The university will determine if additional sanctions should apply to any or all of the students charged.”
To read Mr. Butler’s charging documents click the link below: