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November 15, 2007

Two Penn State players charged with assault

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Penn State defensive tackle Chris Baker and backup linebacker Navarro Bowman were charged with assault Thursday over a campus fight in which police said a man was kicked and punched.

Baker, of Windsor, Conn., and Bowman, of District Heights, Md., were arraigned Thursday on charges including felony aggravated assault and two misdemeanors, simple assault and disorderly conduct. They were 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 for Saturday's regular-season finale at Michigan State.

Baker attorney Karen Muir said her client 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, said he acted in self-defense.

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.

Baker started seven games this season, compiling 37 tackles and 4.5 sacks.

He is awaiting trial on charges for a separate fight at an off-campus apartment in April. Among other sanctions, Penn State placed him on school probation, Muir said.

University officials will conduct their own investigation to determine if sanctions are necessary in connection with the latest accusations, school spokeswoman Lisa Powers said.

For more coverage of Penn State, visit BlueWhiteIllustrated.com.

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