Saturday, February 9, 2008

Missouri’s Hannah arrested for assault


— Missouri senior guard Stefhon Hannah returned to Columbia on Friday for the first time since a nightclub brawl late last month that left him with a broken jaw - and was promptly arrested.

Hannah, Missouri's leading scorer the past two seasons, was charged with third-degree assault. He and his attorney met with police to discuss his involvement in a Jan. 27 altercation at the Athena nightclub. He gave no statement and was released on his signature.

Sgt. Ken Hammond, supervisor of the major crimes unit, said no further arrests were expected but said the incident remained under investigation.

School spokesman Dave Reiter said Hannah remained suspended but declined to comment further.

A second starting guard, Jason Horton, was arrested on suspicion of third-degree misdemeanor assault on Feb. 1 after a 26-year-old Athena employee told police Horton repeatedly punched him in the face. Hannah is accused of assaulting the same employee.

Hammond said a witness came to the employee's defense and punched Hannah, breaking the players' jaw.

Five players, including Horton and Hannah, were suspended by Tigers coach Mike Anderson for violating curfew after the incident. Horton, Marshall Brown, Darryl Butterfield and Leo Lyons have since been reinstated.

Hannah is averaging 14.7 points. Police had been waiting for him to return to the campus from his home in Chicago, where he had been recovering from the injury, which could sideline him for the rest of the season.

The incident occurred just hours after Missouri returned from its first road victory of the season, a win at Colorado that had been viewed as a turning point. The nightclub has often been a trouble spot for police.

"We've answered calls there in the past," Hammond said. "The patrol has responded in reference to fights, shots fired and other incidents."

Missouri (13-10) plays its fourth game since the altercation today at home against No. 18 Texas A&M.; The school lost to Nebraska with an eight-man roster that included two walk-ons in the first game since the suspension, upset No. 22 Kansas State after Lyons and Brown were reinstated, and lost at Kansas with a nearly full roster fortified by the return of Horton and Butterfield.

The altercation involving Hannah is the latest in a series of off-court incidents marring Anderson's second season.

Butterfield has been suspended twice, the first following an arrest for punching a former girlfriend last summer. He pleaded guilty and received a suspended sentence and six months probation when the charge was downgraded to peace disturbance.

DeMarre Carroll, Anderson's nephew, was shot in the ankle outside a downtown club while trying to break up a fight. Mike Anderson Jr., the coach's son and a backup guard, was arrested for DUI last year and suspended for a game.

Kalen Grimes, the leading rebounder last season, was kicked off the team after being arrested for hitting a man in the face with the butt of a shotgun in St. Louis in July.


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