Archive for Friday, June 17, 2005

Police file report on Moon Bar brawl

D.A. says decision on charges in Giddens incident will take weeks

June 17, 2005

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Lawrence Police have completed their investigation of the May 19 bar brawl that led to the stabbing of Kansas University basketball player J.R. Giddens and four others.

"It's an extensive report -- probably 250 pages," said Lawrence Police Capt. Dave Cobb.

Cobb said the report was forwarded to Douglas County Dist. Atty. Charles Branson's office shortly before 10 a.m. Thursday.

Branson said it would be "weeks, not days" before he decided whether the evidence warranted filing charges.

"At this point, I don't know if we'll need to request any additional information or not," Branson said.

Branson has been in court this week, prosecuting Martin K. Miller, a Lawrence carpenter accused of strangling his wife, KU librarian Mary E. Miller. The trial is expected to last another week.

Results of the police investigation are not public record.

"We had three or four people working on it," Cobb said. "Thirty people were interviewed."

Giddens, 20, was one of five people who went to Lawrence Memorial Hospital with knife wounds after an early-morning fight outside the Moon Bar, 821 Iowa.

Moon Bar fight

Others stabbed include Marcus Knight, 29, Lawrence; Preston Patterson, 27, Lawrence; Derrick Newman, 20, Lawrence; and Brandon Waggoner, 21, Topeka.

Jeremiah Creswell, 24, Olathe, told police he stabbed the five men after being outnumbered in a fight. He denied throwing the first punch and accused Giddens of accosting him earlier in the evening.

KU basketball, football and track coaches have ordered their players -- many of whom were in the Moon Bar the night of the fight -- not to talk to reporters.

But sources familiar with Giddens' account of the stabbing told the Journal-World that Creswell "sucker punched" Giddens while Giddens and teammate Jeff Hawkins "rough-housed" on a bench near the pool tables inside the Moon Bar.

They said Creswell waited outside the bar after he was thrown out.

Creswell was arrested Sunday in Olathe after being arrested for threatening his uncle and mother with a steak knife.

Creswell remains in the Johnson County Adult Detention Facility in Olathe, unable to post $50,000 bond.

During a first-appearance hearing Monday, Johnson County prosecutor Kathryn Jermann noted that Creswell's record included aggravated battery and possession of cocaine with intent to sell.

His juvenile record included an incident involving a firearm. He's also known to be affiliated with a gang in Topeka, Jermann said.

Records show that in 2002 Creswell spent five months in the Labette Correctional Conservation Camp in Oswego and five months in the Shawnee County Jail.

KU coach Bill Self, who says Giddens is still a member of the team pending results of the police investigation, learned Thursday the police report was headed to the district attorney.

"Our comment is the same. We are still time away from knowing what decision the D.A.'s office will make regarding the case," Self said. "Certainly I feel it's a step closer to finishing it, but we still have a ways to go."

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