KNOXVILLE — Tyler Bray has been linked to two separate car vandalism incidents at a Knoxville apartment complex, but the Tennessee quarterback is yet to face any charges.
Darrell DeBusk, the public information officer for the Knoxville Police Department, said Wednesday afternoon that Bray called one of the victims, apologized for the damage to her vehicle and offered to pay the damages.
The investigation into the second incident is ongoing, though DeBusk said KPD has no witnesses to the incident.
According to a police report, Bradi Hudson parked her 2008 Ford Special in the parking lot of the The Landings apartments near the Tennessee River in Knoxville Friday night. On Saturday morning, 22-year-old the car's roof had been dented and the windshield smashed. She found a note on her car with a name, phone number and message that read, "I know what happened to your car."
When Hudson called the number, she was told two males had been "drinking and throwing beer bottles and golf balls at her vehicle" the night before, according to the KPD report.
DeBusk said Hudson had scheduled to meet with KPD investigators at 2 p.m. Wednesday after getting an estimate on the damage to her car. The damage estimate in the police report was more than $500, which is a felony in Tennessee. Once Bray called to offer apologies and payment for the damage, Hudson elected not to press charges.
The second victim, Kirstie Allen, returned to her apartment at The Landing on Monday afternoon at 1:10 p.m. to eat lunch. When she emerged 30 minutes later, she found the windshield of her 2007 Volkswagen Jetta "completely smashed," according to the incident report. The report listed the 20-year-old Bray and 26-year-old Michael Grandinetti, Bray's roommate and a UT graduate with prior work experience in the Volunteers' athletic department.
The 21-year-old Allen said she called police Friday night when she saw two people, whom she recognized as Bray and Grandinetti, throwing beer bottles onto parked cars from a balcony. An office manager told Allen the two had been served an eviction notice, according to the report. Allen said in the report she believed Monday's incident occurred as retaliation for her calling the police two nights earlier.
"He wasn't arrested or evicted," said Jimmy Stanton, UT's associate athletic director for communications. "We don't have any further comment at this time."
A lack of witnesses to the second incident could make it difficult for any further charges to be filed. Some media reports suggested Bray was not at the apartments when Monday's incident happened. The Vols report for preseason training camp one week from today.
DeBusk said he notified UT police department on Monday evening and added he's contacted football coach Derek Dooley about Bray's involvement in the incidents.
The Vols dealt with an incident just before the start of practice last season. Linebacker Austin Johnson, then a senior, was arrested and charged with public intoxication and disorderly conduct for hitting parked cars in the parking lot of an off-campus bar. Johnson's punishment was handled internally.
Dooley dismissed Cameron Clear earlier this summer for his arrest on felony theft charges. UT police caught the sophomore tight end in possession of a laptop computer that had been reported missing by a UT baseball player. Clear pleaded guilty to an amended charge of misdemeanor theft and was granted judicial diversion last week, though it's unclear if or where he'll continue his football career.
Bray, a junior, has been more active off the field in his role as UT's quarterback. He made a couple of well-publicized visits to Knoxville-area elementary schools to spend time with kids there. Last week, while Bray was representing UT at the Southeastern Conference's annual media days, he was named the Vols' nominee for the American Football Coaches Association's Good Works Team.
While in Hoover, Ala, for media days, Bray spoke about being more of a leader to his team this offseason and answered more questions about his ongoing maturation process as a quarterback.
"He's our quarterback, and he's the face of our offense," Dooley said in Hoover. "He needs to understand what it's like to stand in front of all these cameras and be accountable to you guys just like he's accountable to the team. I think it's helped him.
"I've seen a lot of growth in Tyler," Dooley said. "[I'm] proud of him. But he's still got a lot of work to do."
Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...