Thursday, October 18

Assault charges dropped against Drew


Video footage shows former UCLA football player leaving before the alleged altercation took place

Assault charges were dropped against former UCLA football player
Maurice Drew for an alleged altercation at a Denny’s
restaurant in Westwood on April 23 after surveillance video footage
showed Drew leaving the restaurant before the alleged altercation
took place. Drew and former UCLA football players Ricky Manning Jr.
and Tyler Ebell were each charged with one count of assault by
means likely to produce great bodily injury toward Denny’s
patron Soroush Sabzi, and each posted $30,000 bail. The Los Angeles
District Attorney’s office has only dropped the charges
against Drew, while Manning and Ebell have pleaded not guilty and
have a scheduled preliminary hearing for July 6 at the Airport
Branch Courthouse. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Keith Schwartz
cited “insufficient evidence to proceed” with charges
against Drew. According to Drew’s lawyer Aaron Dyer, there
were eyewitness accounts that corroborated the video footage which
showed Drew leaving the Denny’s on Tiverton Avenue just prior
to the alleged altercation. “It was a case of mistaken
identity,” Dyer said. “The video identified a black man
with dreadlocks, but he looked nothing like Maurice and the
witnesses backed it up.” Deputy District Attorney Hamid
Towfigh noted that the charges were dropped based on
“insufficient evidence.” He would not comment on the
details of an ongoing case but did say that a judge will be careful
to cite the reason for dropping charges, but he would not comment
as to why they were dropped against Drew but not against Manning
and Ebell. Meanwhile, the civil suit of negligent infliction of
emotional distress and intentional infliction of emotional distress
toward Sabzi has not yet been dropped. Dyer is expecting the civil
suit to be dropped sometime this week, but he has not been in
contact with Sabzi’s lawyer, Aviv Tuchman. The suit was filed
by Tuchman, on May 18, two days before a warrant was issued for the
arrest of Drew and Ebell. Manning was arrested approximately 3 a.m.
on April 23, within an hour of the alleged assault. Tuchman was
unavailable for comment.

SUMMER PRACTICE: UCLA will open its 2006
pre-season football practice on Monday, Aug. 7. The Bruins will
practice once daily from Aug. 7-11. The first practice in full pads
will be Friday, Aug. 11. Two-a-day practices will begin on
Saturday, Aug. 12. The NCAA banned consecutive two-a-days in 2003.
On Saturday, Aug. 19, the Bruins will hold their first major
scrimmage of fall camp. The scrimmage will be held at Drake Stadium
at 11 a.m. All practices will be on Spaulding Field and will be
open to the public.

SCHEDULING: UCLA and Nebraska agreed to a
home-and-home football series. The teams will play at the Rose Bowl
in 2012 and at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln in 2013. The last time
the teams met, Nebraska won 49-21 in 1994. UCLA and Kansas State
have also agreed to a home-and-home football series. The Bruins
will host the Wildcats in the Rose Bowl on Sept. 19, 2009. The
Bruins will travel to Manhattan, Kansas in the 2010 season on Sept.
4. The series will mark the first meetings between the schools in
the sport of football.

AWARD LISTS: Junior offensive lineman Shannon
Tevaga is a pre-season candidate for the Outland Trophy Award,
given to the best interior lineman. Sophomore quarterback Ben Olson
is on the watch list for the Maxwell Award, given to college
football’s best player, even though he has yet to start a
game in college. Defensive tackle Kevin Brown is on the Bednarik
Award list.

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