Hard Hits Off the Field

JONESBORO, AR-- Five ASU athletes who are taught to hit hard on the football field are accused of battery off the field.

Sidney Smith is a junior at ASU. Last Wednesday at the Jonesboro Skating Rink, Sidney approached a group of ASU football players. He says he was just trying to talk with one of the guys about some things stolen from his sister.

"I was just going to a school activity, just trying to socialize and talk to some friends and it just kind of led to something bad happening," says Smith.

Sidney and his sister had just walked out of the skating rink into the parking lot when they say they were attacked by the 5 football players.

"I thought everything was over. I went to get into my vehicle and they ran from around an SUV and just attacked me," says Smith.

Sidney's sister tried to step in, but wasn't able to stop the fight. Her brother was beaten to the ground until he was unconscious.

"Vicious blows. I was kicked in the head. I've suffered a fractured nose, a chipped tooth, and headaches from time to time," says Smith.

We spoke with ASU Head Football Coach Steve Roberts about the fight. He wasn't able to comment on camera, but did tell release this statement:

"We are aware of the situation. There are a lot of things that we're still investigating and a lot of things that have not come out yet. We will take the appropriate action once we gather all the information."

The 5 football players accused of the attack are Marlin Douglas, Javon McKinnon, Preston Brown, Gregory Hardy, and Robert Dupree. They all were arrested Monday afternoon at the ASU Football Complex and now just wait to take this up with the judge.

But as for Sidney, he says he just hopes this doesn't get any worse.

"It kind of makes me paranoid sometimes when I'm going home at night to actually think that they might come back looking for me when I'm by myself," adds Smith.

We spoke with the city prosecutor, who said all 5 players who were arrested Monday immediately posted bond. They are set to appear in district court on April 11th.