Associated Press , Published September 04 2013
Minot State football player allegedly beat unconscious officer, charged with attempted murder
Jesse Ili, 21, beat two officers who responded to a report of suspected drug use in a parked vehicle off campus in Minot on Friday. He has since been kicked off the Minot State team.
Police say in court documents that the 6-foot-tall, 220-pound Ili overpowered Officer Brandon Schmidt while Schmidt was trying to arrest him, and that Officer Erik Laudenschlager saw Ili slamming Schmidt's head into a post while Schmidt "appeared to be limp and unconscious," according to the Minot Daily News.
Both officers were treated at a hospital and released. They both were present in court on Tuesday, KXMC-TV reported.
Ili told Judge Richard Hagar on Tuesday that he's a nonviolent person who has "never done crime, never been arrested." Defense attorney Jessie Lang said Ili "fully intends to respond" to the charges, and asked for a $20,000 bond.
Ward County State's Attorney Rozanna Larson asked that bond be set at $250,000. Hagar set Ili's bond at $200,000. He could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of attempted murder.
"Anybody who attacks police officers, almost kills one, is a danger to society," Larson said.
Four other team members were arrested on drug crimes. Two of them — Grant Jansen, of Roseville, Calif., and Thomas Boles-Armstrong, of Omaha, Neb., pleaded guilty Tuesday and were each assessed $525 in fines and fees and ordered to undergo a chemical dependency evaluation, court documents show.
Two other players — Kwajo Bonsu, of Chino Hill, Calif., and Leon LaDeaux, of Port Orchard, Wash. — posted bond and didn't enter a plea, according to the Minot Daily News.
Ili faces three misdemeanor and three felony charges in the fight with officers that authorities say ended when he was subdued with a stun gun.
Ili, from West Covina, Calif., was dismissed from the Minot State team, just as he was from the Fresno State team last year. Fresno State spokesman Jason Clay told the Minot Daily News that Ili violated athletic department policy. Minot State coach Paul Rudolph told the newspaper that Ili missed a test and his dismissal had nothing to do with the legal system.
Rudolph said the other four players charged in the incident will not play Saturday when the team opens its season against Concordia-St. Paul.
Minot State Athletic Director Rick Hedberg said in a statement Tuesday that he hopes the recent legal troubles don't reflect on the entire athletic department.
"Unfortunately, the poor decisions made by a small group put a negative light on things, and I feel for the 300-plus other student-athletes on our campus that weren't involved," Hedberg said.
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