Penn State Players Charged with Assault

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Penn State defensive tackle Chris Baker and backup linebacker Navarro Bowman were charged with assault Thursday over a campus fight in which authorities said a man was bloodied after being kicked and punched.
Baker, 20, of Windsor, Conn., and Bowman, 19, of District Heights, Md., were arraigned Thursday on charges including felony aggravated assault and two misdemeanors, simple assault and disorderly conduct. Each was also charged with summary harassment and stalking.
Baker and Bowman were released on their own recognizance. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Wednesday.
Team spokesman Jeff Nelson declined to comment. There was no word on whether the players would travel with the team for Saturday's regular-season finale at Michigan State.
Baker attorney Karen Muir said her client was "absolutely" innocent, had cooperated with police throughout the investigation and offered to take a lie-detector test.
"We maintained he was not involved in the fight," she said.
Bowman's attorney, Stacy Parks Miller, also said her client was innocent.
"The charges and the documents clearly paint a picture of self-defense," she said.
Police said they were called to the Hetzel Union Building early Oct. 7 to break up a fight during a party. One man suffered a bloody nose and lip after he said he was kicked and punched "by numerous people," according to a police criminal complaint. The man was treated at the scene by paramedics.
A third player, cornerback Knowledge Timmons, will be issued a summons by mail for charges of disorderly conduct and defiant trespass, Centre County Assistant District Attorney Steve Sloane said. Timmons' charges were connected to an incident at the HUB after the fight, Sloane said.
Baker has played in every game this season, starting in seven of them and compiling 37 tackles and 4 1/2 sacks. He has emerged as solid contributor on Penn State's young defensive line.
He is also awaiting trial on charges for a separate fight at an off-campus apartment in April, after which he had been released on unsecured bail. Among other sanctions, Penn State had placed him on school probation, Muir said.
University judicial officials will conduct their own investigation to determine if sanctions were necessary in connection with the latest accusations, school spokeswoman Lisa Powers said.