Lawrence police have cited Kansas University basketball player Thomas Robinson to appear in municipal court on a misdemeanor battery charge in connection with an altercation outside a Lawrence nightclub, city prosecutor Jerry Little said Tuesday morning.
Little said officers informed him that they had cited Robinson, 20, in connection with an April 10 incident outside The Cave, a nightclub inside The Oread hotel and condominiums, 1200 Oread Ave.
Police have said two suspects were accused of hitting bouncers at 2:05 a.m. April 10 outside The Cave after bar staff said they broke up a large fight inside the club.
Capt. Paul Fellers in a statement said that police were called about a fight and that one bouncer, a 25-year-old Lawrence man, alleged that one suspect had struck him and then spit on him. A witness alleged a second suspect had hit another bouncer, a 23-year-old Lawrence man, Fellers said.
According to a police report, the two victims were not injured. Police did not identify the two suspects, but Sgt. Matt Sarna, a police spokesman, said Tuesday morning that only one person has been ticketed.
Adam Lauridsen, a bouncer at The Cave who worked the night of the incident, told the Journal-World that several members of the basketball team were outside the bar around closing time as staff members were clearing people out of the club.
One of the people who was accompanying basketball players — but not himself a player — got angry at another bouncer, Lauridsen said, and eventually hit him in the head.
Several members of the basketball team — including Robinson — began pulling the man away from the other bouncer, Lauridsen said.
During that scuffle, he saw Robinson appear to get angry.
“He hit one of my buddies in the head,” Lauridsen said, adding that he also saw Robinson spit on the bouncer.
Robinson is a current KU sophomore and post player from Washington, D.C. He announced earlier this month that he would return to KU for a third season instead of entering his name in June’s NBA draft.
“We are aware of this situation due to the fact that Thomas notified me immediately following his being interviewed by the police that morning, at approximately 2 a.m. about an incident that occurred just prior," KU coach Bill Self said. "Thomas is fully cooperating and we will not have any further comment about this situation as the investigation plays out.”
Sarna of the police department said the case remains under investigation and it’s possible other people could be charged. According to a police report, an officer did not check that Robinson was suspected of using alcohol.
Little, the city prosecutor, said officers served Robinson with the ticket Monday night. Police told Little that officers had been following up on the investigation in recent days, including interviewing other witnesses.
He said Robinson would have a court appearance in coming weeks or an attorney could appear in court on his behalf to schedule a later court date.
“We're handling it internally, and Thomas is handling it appropriately. That's all we're going to say at this point,” Jim Marchiony, an associate KU athletic director, said Tuesday.
Robinson is the second KU basketball player to be charged with misdemeanor battery in municipal court in recent months. Mario Little, who was a senior on last season’s Elite Eight team, entered into a diversion agreement in January that required he participate in anger management counseling. He was arrested in connection with a Dec. 16 incident in which he was accused of shoving his 22-year-old ex-girlfriend into a sink.
Self suspended Mario Little for six games during the season before Little was reinstated.