By TOM MOOR
10:00 am, May 03, 2012
South Bend Tribune
SOUTH BEND -- Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees was pepper sprayed and arrested early Thursday morning after an alleged physical altercation with South Bend police, who had responded to a report of a loud party.
The 19-year-old Rees, who will be a junior in the fall, is accused of underage drinking and running from police outside a home at 716 N. Notre Dame Ave. about 12:30 a.m., police said.
Notre Dame linebacker Carlo Calabrese also was arrested at the home on suspicion of disorderly conduct in response to Rees being arrested.
Rees, from Lake Forest, Ill., was charged Thursday by the St. Joseph County prosecutor's office with two counts of resisting law enforcement, both Class A misdemeanors; battery, a Class A misdemeanor; and illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor, a Class C misdemeanor. Rees was originally arrested on suspicion of battery on a police officer, which would have been a felony.
Rees posted $250 and bonded out of the St. Joseph County Jail Thursday afternoon.
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly released a brief statement Thursday regarding the incident.
"I am aware of (Thursday's) incident involving two of our football players," the statement read. "I am of course very concerned given the nature of the allegations, but I am still gathering information. I'll withhold judgment until I can collect all the facts and speak with both Carlo and Tommy."
Calabrese, 21, of Verona, N.J., posted a $150 bond just after 3:30 a.m. Thursday.
The prosecutor's office is continuing to review the case against Calabrese and will make a charging decision today.
The incident unfolded when South Bend police arrived at the home just south of the Notre Dame campus and reportedly found open containers of beer and other alcohol beverages in the backyard.
Officers reported that several people began jumping over a fence when they arrived and, specifically, they observed a group of five men attempting to jump over a fence and ordered them to stop, said Capt. Phil Trent, South Bend police spokesman.
Rees was the only one of that group who ran from the scene, Trent said.
An officer reportedly chased Rees around the outside of the home and ordered him to stop. A cab driver who happened to see the officer chasing Rees toward Notre Dame Avenue pulled in front of Rees to block his path and allow the officer to catch him, the prosecutor's office alleges.
Rees allegedly used his right knee to hit the officer in the abdomen, which knocked the wind out of him. Both the cab driver and the officer then tried to detain Rees, which caused the officer to fall to the ground, according to the charging documents. The officer was able to pepper spray Rees, while other officers came into assist, police said.
Once in handcuffs, Trent said Rees still attempted to resist.
Calabrese, meanwhile, verbally reacted to Rees' arrest and would not stand on the sidewalk when ordered to by police, Trent said.
Calabrese's friends reportedly attempted to hold him back, but Calabrese continued to yell things at officers that were interpreted as threats, leading to his arrest.
At one point, Trent said, Calabrese told officers: "My people will get you."
Trent said nobody else at the party was arrested, and no citations were given.
"These two guys probably had the most to lose, and (Rees) decided to run," Trent said.
Rees allegedly blew a 0.11 blood-alcohol content; Calabrese blew at 0.12.
Police are not sure if there were any other football players at the party. It is also unclear whether the players lived at the home.
Calabrese's court appearance has been set for May 17.
Notre Dame also issued a statement Thursday morning regarding the arrests.
"The University is aware of this incident and is confident that it will be handled in a prompt and professional manner through the criminal justice system. Internal discipline is handled privately in accord with our own policies and federal law."
Rees is one of four quarterbacks, along with Andrew Hendrix, Everett Golson and Gunner Kiel, vying for the starting job. He started 12 games as a sophomore in 2011 after starting four the previous season.
Rees took over as the starter at halftime of the season-opening loss to South Florida. For the season, he completed 269 of 411 passes for 2,871 yards, 20 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. As a freshman, Rees was 100-of-164 for 1,106 yards, 12 TDs and eight interceptions.
Calabrese will be a senior in the fall but retains two seasons of eligibility. He played in all 13 games last season at inside linebacker, sharing the job with starter Dan Fox.
Calabrese finished the 2011 season with 37 tackles, which was 10th on the team. In 2010 he played in 11 games with eight starts. That season he registered 34 tackles, including 2.5 sacks. Calabrese did not play his freshman season in 2009.
This isn't the first time a Notre Dame quarterback-linebacker duo have been arrested together.
Former quarterback Rick Mirer and linebacker Demetrius DuBose were arrested by South Bend police in August 1991 on charges of public intoxication and disorderly conduct. Mirer's charges were later dropped, while DuBose was charged with illegal consumption of alcohol because he was younger than 21 at the time.
Staff writers Bob Wieneke and Mary Kate Malone contributed to this story.
Staff writer Tom Moor: