|Rees spent less than 15 minutes in court|
Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees made a brief appearance in court Thursday morning to plead not guilty to charges stemming from his arrest at a house party on May 3.
The Irish junior faces four misdemeanor charges — minor consumption of alcohol, battery and two counts of resisting law enforcement — after trying to flee from an off-campus party when police arrived.
Rees, along with four other unidentified males, jumped a fence in the back yard of the Notre Dame Ave. house when police responded to a noise complaint shortly after midnight on May 3. Police caught Rees with the assistance of a taxi cab driver and eventually had to use pepper spray to subdue him.
The initial police report said Rees kneed the arresting officer in the lower abdomen during the struggle. Rees appeared in court with George Horn, a South Bend attorney from the firm of Barnes & Thornburg, and one other middle-aged man.
They did not responded to questions about the case on their way out of the courthouse. Horn could not immediately be reached for comment at his office Thursday.
Senior linebacker Carlo Calabrese was also scheduled to be in court for his initial hearing for a misdemeanor intimidation charge Thursday. His attorney, Jeffrey J. Stesiak, made the appearance for him.
“I don’t know why he wasn’t here,” White said. “It happens. It’s not unusual for an attorney come and agree to continue to the case.” Police arrested Calabrese at the same May 3 party after he allegedly threatened officers while they arrested Rees.
According to the prosecutor, Calabrese asked Sgt. Dorian Finley if he was a Notre Dame fan. Finley told Calabrese that was irrelevant, to which he responded “that it was relevant and that Officer Finley did not like Notre Dame football by how he was acting toward him and his teammates."
Calabrese twice told Finley, “My people will get you,” according to the prosecutor’s office and pulled away from other bystanders at the party that attempted to walk him back to the house.
His status hearing is set for June 21. A third Notre Dame football player, sophomore wide receiver DaVaris Daniels, ran into alcohol-related trouble last week. Police in Vernon Hills, Ill. cited Daniels and 28 others for underaged drinking at a party early in the morning on May 13. The address in the police report is the same as Daniels’ home address.
The citation is not a criminal charge, but he will have to appear in court. “I’m aware of the citation DaVaris received and will be speaking with him about the matter,” Irish coach Brian Kelly said in a statement released Wednesday night. “Any team-related discipline that may be forthcoming will be handled internally."
All three players are competing for starting jobs on the football field next fall. Rees has started 16 of the last 17 games for Notre Dame at quarterback. Calabrese split time at inside linebacker with fellow senior Dan Fox. Daniels is a candidate to take over the starting wide receiver role for departed senior Michael Floyd.
Jason writes for IrishCentral and domersportsreport You can find him on twitter at @jayomahony