Karcher released on assault charge

Player at St. Frances, Temple free on bond after Rosedale incident

College basketball

May 17, 2000|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

Former Temple Owls and St. Frances basketball star Mark Karcher was arrested outside a Rosedale nightclub early Monday morning and charged with first-degree assault and resisting arrest and later released on $25,000 bond.

Multiple fights broke out near Strawberry 5000 about 2 a.m. bringing more than 20 Baltimore County police officers to the scene. Karcher, 21, who a few weeks ago declared himself eligible for the NBA draft, forgoing his final season at Temple, was not involved in any of the fights but was stuck in his vehicle in a line of traffic trying to exit the club, according to security guard Leroy Dailey, who witnessed the incident.

Dailey said Karcher "saw an opening" and almost hit him with his 2000 Cadillac sport utility vehicle. Dailey said he moved out of the way, and Karcher hit a police officer with the driver's-side mirror of the Cadillac. According to the police report, Karcher was ordered to stop the car after hitting the officer but refused to do so. He was then pepper-sprayed by another officer, taken out of the car and placed on the ground.

"He hit the gas and almost hit me but ended up hitting the officer with the mirror," Dailey said.

The police report states that while on the ground, Karcher's hands were forcibly placed behind his back by multiple officers, and he was arrested. Dailey said he heard Karcher yelling at officers from inside the police van.

"He was saying, `Don't you know who I am?' " Dailey said. " `I'm a basketball player. Let me go.' "

Karcher had three passengers in the car, and Dailey said one in the back seat yelled repeatedly at him and police officers during the incident. Dailey, who works security at the club frequently, said this is the first time anything like this has happened. He said he witnessed several fights outside the club, which led to the arrest of six people, including a man accused of firing his gun in the crowd.

Karcher , a 6-foot-5 guard/forward, is projected by some publications to be a late first-round pick after averaging 15.8 points with the Owls last season. He is a 1997 graduate of St. Frances Academy in East Baltimore.

Karcher led the Owls in scoring 28 times last season, helping the Owls gain a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament, where they lost in the second round to Seton Hall despite a 27-point performance by Karcher.

With a year of eligibility left, Karcher has said in the past that having to take care of his daughter and son was a major reason he decided to turn pro.

His daughter, who lives in Philadelphia, has sickle-cell anemia, and Karcher said he wants to use the money from an NBA contract to help pay some of the bills.

"There are things I have to do with my kids, my daughter, my son, and also [the rest of] my family," Karcher said when he announced his decision to enter the draft.

His grandmother, Eunice Lewis, with whom Karcher is staying, declined to comment yesterday. Karcher did not return phone calls yesterday.

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