Ohio State football player Tracy Sprinkle is facing charges of cocaine possession, rioting and failure to disperse following a massive bar fight in Lorain in northeastern Ohio early yesterday, which police described as a riot.
Ohio State football player Tracy Sprinkle is facing charges ofcocaine possession, rioting and failure to disperse following a massive bar fight in northeastern Ohio early yesterday, which police described as a riot.
Sprinkle, a 19-year-old backup defensive end, is from Elyria, near Lorain. He was arrested between 2 and 3 a.m. yesterday in Lorain, a Lorain city jail official said, and was still being held as of 11:40 a.m. today.
The cocaine was not found on Sprinkle, but rather hidden in the back seat of a squad car in which he had been placed after the fight.
Police acknowledged another arrested person had been in the vehicle prior to Sprinkle. The officer searched the car after the first person's release and had found no drugs.
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Sprinkle was suspended from the team by coach Urban Meyer, according to an Oho State spokesman.
"His future with the team will be determined following the completion of this case," spokesman Jerry Emig said, paraphrasing Meyer who is on vacation.
The move to suspend him from the team was not made until this morning by Meyer, but it was expected. Meyer continually stresses to his players to "walk away" from trouble, and he suspended running back Carlos Hyde for the first three games last season and Bradley Roby from the 2013 season opener after late-July incidents in bars, though neither ultimately was charged.
Sprinkle, who did not play last season as a true freshman, was expected to compete for playing time this fall.
A Lorain Police Department report describes the following:
At 2 a.m. Saturday, officers responded to the Grown & Sexy Bar, 1662 E. 28th St. in Lorain, following a report of a large fight in progress. The first officer observed about 50 people outside the bar, with "large pockets of people fighting in the parking lot." Many people were streaming out of the bar.
A group of females were screaming for help, while holding an unconscious female.
"In addition to the fights that were currently happening in the east and west parking lot, I had a clear vision inside the bar and could see absolute mayhem going on inside," an officer wrote. "A large amount of people could be seen fighting inside with chairs being thrown."
A pool table had been flipped over, overhead lights destroyed, tables and chairs broken, and glass bottles had been thrown.
The officer requested all available units respond, and unleashed a police dog on the crowd "to assist with crowd control."
As one group would disperse, another would form to fight some more, the officer wrote.
The officer repeatedly came across a shirtless, blood-faced man, identified as Wayne Blue, 23, who was yelling at Sprinkle.
"It was clear that the two of them had been fighting," the report said. Both men were being held back from fighting by friends.
Officers arrested Blue for not following orders, and ordered Sprinkle to leave. His friends said they would see to it. "We got him," they said, as they pushed him toward a car.
However, Sprinkle became engaged in another scuffle, and was arrested.
The unconscious female was being treated by an ambulance crew. She told police she was hit with a chair during the the fight, and pushed into a wall, despite having no part of the fight. She didn't know who threw the chair.
Blue told police that Sprinkle had struck him in the face with a bottle, cutting his lip. He was taken to Mercy Hospital. Sprinkle denied involvement in the fight.
Both men were charged with rioting and failure to disperse, and Sprinkle also was charged with drug possession "as a result of suspected cocaine being located." Sprinkle was placed in a patrol car. Later, after he had been removed from the car, an officer found two small bags of a white powder stuffed into the seat.
The officer said he had a juvenile in the car earlier in the night, but he had checked the seat after releasing the juvenile and found nothing. Sprinkle has no previous drug convictions, the report notes.