Notre Dame’s Rees charged with four misdemeanors, felony count reduced

Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees remains in jail following an arrest early Thursday morning at a party near campus. Rees reportedly kneed an officer in the midsection while attempting to flee.
Posted on May 3, 2012 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on May 3, 2012 at 5:35 p.m.

NOTRE DAME — 5:20 p.m. update: Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees is facing four misdemeanor charges after his arrest early Thursday morning.

According to a release from the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office, Rees has been charged with minor consumption (Class C), two counts of resisting law enforcement (Class A) and battery (Class A).

Rees was initially facing a felony count of battery to law enforcement, but the charge was reduced to a misdemeanor.

The prosecutor’s office said a cash bond of $250 was set for Rees. of $250. He is expected to be released sometime Thursday.

According to police accounts, Rees’ attempt to flee the scene was cut off by a taxi cab that blocked his path on Notre Dame Avenue.

As police approached Rees, the quarterback “used his right knee to hit (South Bend police) Officer (Brandon) Stec in the lower chest area, knocking the wind out of him,” the report stated.

The cab driver then grabbed Rees in order to keep him from running away.


Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees remains in custody after an altercation with police early Thursday morning.

According to Capt. Phil Trent of the South Bend Police Department, Rees, 19, and Notre Dame linebacker Carlo Calabrese, 21, were arrested and booked in the St. Joseph County jail just after 1 a.m. after police broke up the party they were attending.

Trent said police were dispatched at 12:30 a.m. to 716 N. Notre Dame Ave., where they observed a large group of people with open containers of alcohol.

As police approached the residence, Trent said they heard the sound of a wood fence breaking, “like someone was trying to flee.”

Police went around to the back and saw five males jump the fence in attempt to run from the scene. Police ordered them to stop, but one kept running. Officers chased the man around a few houses and onto Notre Dame Avenue.

Police stopped the man and identified him as Tommy Rees. Trent said Rees “turned on the officer” and kneed him in the midsection, knocking the wind out of him. Both men fell to the ground, causing the officer to bloody his right arm, but he maintained his hold on Rees. Rees continued to resist, and Trent said officers used “a short burst of pepper spray” on Rees, which stunned the quarterback enough to subdue him.

It was then, Trent said, that Calabrese stepped out of the crowd that had gathered around the scene, walked into the street and approached one of the sergeants in attempt to intervene on behalf of Rees. “(Calabrese) said that he’s a Notre Dame football player, a fellow member of the team, and that he doesn’t understand why (Rees) has to go to jail,” Trent said.

Calabrese then reportedly told the sergeant: “My people are going to get you.”

Members of the crowd grabbed Calabrese in an attempt to keep him out of trouble, but Trent said Calabrese pushed away repeated: “My people are going to get you.”

It was then Calabrese was also arrested and taken into jail with a preliminary misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct.

Rees was arrested on preliminary charges of resisting law enforcement, felony battery to law enforcement, minor consumption and public intoxication, according to the police.

Police said Rees had a blood-alcohol content of 0.11, and Calabrese had a 0.12.

Calabrese was released a few hours after the arrest after posting a $150 bond. Rees was held without bond and did not appear in front of a judge this afternoon. Prosecutors have 48 hours to charge someone in custody.

Rees started 12 games in the 2011 season and is the incumbent starter in this season’s four-man quarterback race. Calabrese played in all 13 games last season at linebacker.

Notre Dame released a statement from head coach Brian Kelly Thursday afternoon.

“I am aware of last night’s incident involving two of our football players,” Kelly said in the statement. “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.”

Kelly was a key figure in the disciplinary actions after former receiver Michael Floyd was arrested for DUI last March. Kelly slapped Floyd with an indefinite suspension but reinstated the receiver in August.

The university might not grant Kelly much freedom with Rees. After all, Floyd’s arrest was a misdemeanor. Rees, if charged, could face a felony charge.

According to the Notre Dame student handbook: “If a student is charged with a felony, the University, through the Office of Student Affairs or the Office of Residence Life, reserves the right to take summary action and temporarily dismiss the student. Similarly, the University may take summary action to temporarily or permanently dismiss any student convicted of a felony.”

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