KNOXVILLE — Two University of Tennessee football players have been charged and at least two more have been questioned in connection with a nightclub fight near campus.
Freshman wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers (disorderly conduct) and sophomore safety Darren Myles Jr. (assault, resisting arrest and evading arrest) were charged after the 1:50 a.m. incident at Bar Knoxville on Cumberland Avenue. Senior wide receiver Denarius Moore and sophomore defensive tackle Montori Hughes have been questioned regarding the incident.
A Knoxville Police Department incident report claims that off-duty KPD officer Robert Capouellez was injured with a “head wound” after trying to break up a fight between one unidentified man and several UT football players. KPD officials haven’t released the other man’s name because his family hasn’t been notified.
Capouellez and the unidentified bar patron were transported to UT Medical Center for treatment, but no update on their statuses has been reported.
Multiple KPD officials have said more charges could come from the incident.
Photo by J. Miles Cary/Knoxville News Sentential Bar Knoxville on Cumberland Avenue is on the edge of the University of Tennessee Campus in a part of Cumberland Avenue called "The Strip."
UT officials have been gathering information on the incident and aren’t ready to comment.
Bar Knoxville co-owner Sandy Morton told The Times Free Press that “seven to 10” UT football players were involved in the fight.
Morton said the fight started inside but spread outside, and it ended with an off-duty police officer “knocked out in the street.”
“Basically, it was a normal Thursday night — Thursday’s our big night,” Morton said. “We had all the UT football players come in. They’re on a first-name basis with my husband (and co-owner), and they get VIP status, which means they pay no cover at the door. We’ve never had a problem with them in the past, but tonight, apparently they had a falling out with another gentleman. I don’t know why. I don’t know what happened, but several of the guys started beating up the other customer. I want to guess there was seven to 10 guys beating up this one gentleman.
“All the security then rushed in and were trying to break it up. My husband saw them picking up bar stools and starting to swing them. We got them out the door with security. There happened to be a friend of ours who was an off-duty police officer outside. He tried to help, and he ended up getting knocked out in the street and proceeded to be kicked while he was down on the ground in the middle of Cumberland.
“That’s basically the gist of it.”
Morton said she interviewed several witnesses but hadn’t determined what started the fight.
“All they said was these several gentlemen just started beating the tar out of this one,” she said. “There was blood. There was ripped shirts. It took pretty much all my security to get them out.”
Morton said her establishment has had some “small” problems with UT football players in the past.
“We have a strict dress code, and they’ll try to cross the line as much as they can,” she said. “They’ll try to come in without ID, but we’re very strict on ID. We’re very strict on underage drinking. We’ve had small occasions where we’ve had to throw a couple of them out for underage drinking. An overage friend will buy them a drink.
“That’s the typical problems we’ve had, but we’ve never had a fight. This is our first, and it will be our last.”
Myles was arrested in the early morning hours following UT’s April 18 Orange and White game and charged with public intoxication, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Officers “observed Myles being drunk and disorderly and riding on the hood of a vehicle in the parking lot” of a Knoxville nightclub, according to the incident report.
Myles was allowed back on the team, and new Vols head coach Derek Dooley opted to discipline the player internally — but without missing any games.
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