Accused lacrosse player fought with teammate

Huguely reportedly punched friend over encounter with Yeardley Love

May 08, 2010|By David Nakamura and Christian Swezey, The Washington Post

University of Virginia lacrosse player George Huguely attacked a sleeping teammate last year, leaving the other man's face bruised in a fight that took place after a night of partying, according to four sources with knowledge of the incident.

Virginia lacrosse coach Dom Starsia told players about the February 2009 fight at the next practice and disciplined Huguely and the injured player, though it is unclear what form the punishment took, according to one of the sources, a former Virginia men's lacrosse player who was on the team at the time.

The former player, who spoke on condition of anonymity out of respect for the grieving families, said Huguely attacked the other player after hearing that his teammate had kissed women's lacrosse player Yeardley Love, who was dating Huguely at the time. Another former Virginia player, Kip Turner, who graduated in 2007 but remains close to the team, said that account is consistent with the version he heard from players.

The injured player did not respond this week to a message sent to him on Facebook. Three telephone messages left for one of that player's older brothers and two telephone messages left for his father were not returned. School spokeswoman Carol Wood said she was not aware of the incident and would look into it.

Huguely, 22, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the fatal beating of Cockeysville native Love, also 22, on Monday. Police say he kicked through the door of her room, and they found her in bed with a pool of blood around her head. Huguely's lawyer has said Love's death was an accident.

Since the arrest, details have emerged about Huguely's past run-ins with the law, including an alcohol-fueled episode of violence with a police officer who used a Taser in an attempt to subdue him.

The four sources provided accounts of the February 2009 attack, which the former player said occurred after a men's lacrosse team victory and a night of drinking in the team's hangout, a Charlottesville bar.

He said the other player escorted Love home from the bar, where players from both the men's and women's lacrosse teams had been drinking. Love lived with female teammates, including one who was dating another men's player, the former men's team player said. They may have seen the two at the apartment together, he said.

When Huguely found out, "he went into [the player's] room at night and laid into him pretty good," the former player said.

Turner, who played one season in 2007 with Huguely, said he heard a similar story about the attack.

"People knew about it," Turner said. "Yeardley and [the player who walked her home] were very good friends. They were both from Baltimore. George was from D.C."

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