Four Tide freshmen suspended after arrests

Updated: February 12, 2013, 5:05 PM ET news services

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — A former five-star recruit for Alabama was arrested for the second time in two days and was among four freshmen, all suspended Tuesday, who face charges of second-degree robbery or credit-card fraud stemming from Monday arrests.

Eddie Williams, who was also a safety in high school but did not play a down at his listed position as a receiver for Alabama in 2012, was first arrested Sunday on a charge of carrying a pistol without a license.

According to a police report acquired by at least two Alabama newspapers, Williams admitted to investigators that he physically assaulted another man “and rendered him unconscious” on campus Monday morning at 3:21 CT at Bryant Hall dormitory. Williams then stole a credit card and used it for several purchases, according to police. The report said it was used at a vending machine.

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The Associated Press, citing court documents, reported linebacker Tyler Hayes, 18, also confessed to robbing the student, who was punched in the head and face and kicked in the ribs and back.

Williams said D.J. Pettway, 20, a defensive lineman, and Hayes waited in a nearby vehicle about an hour later while he knocked out and robbed another student.

The AP reported the first student said his Apple Macbook Pro was stolen from his backpack. Both suffered mild concussions, cuts on the face and heavy swelling and had their wallets taken, according to the documents.

Williams and running back Brent Calloway, 20, both admitted to using a stolen credit card to buy snacks from vending machines inside a dormitory, the documents said.

Pettway and Hayes are charged with second-degree robbery; Calloway is charged with fraudulent use of a credit card. Both were arrested Monday along with Williams, according to online records from the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.

The four players were suspended by Alabama on Tuesday afternoon.

“The young men charged are indefinitely suspended as we continue to gather information and talk to the appropriate people,” coach Nick Saban said in a statement released by the Alabama athletic department. “The university and football program have strict guidelines regarding issues of this magnitude. This behavior is unacceptable for any student-athlete at the University of Alabama and not representative of our football program.”

In addition to the apparently unrelated Sunday gun charge, Williams faces second-degree robbery and fraudulent use of a credit card charges.

According to police, Williams, 20, said he was accompanied by Pettway and Hayes, “both of whom he stated were involved in an earlier robbery with him, as well.

“Both subjects stood by in a vehicle, with knowledge of his intent, while he committed the crime,” said the police report, obtained by the Birmingham News and Tuscaloosa News.

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The report said the alleged victim suffered “several lacerations to the face, mild concussions and severe swelling.”

University police posted an advisory Monday saying two students reported being approached by two men who asked for a light for a cigarette. Both students said they were then hit in the head and robbed.

All four players were released from the county jail Monday night — on bonds of $65,000 for Williams, $60,000 each for Pettway and Hayes, and $5,000 for Calloway.

The Alabama athletic department released a statement earlier Tuesday describing the situation as “a very serious matter.”

“We are very disappointed in the actions that have resulted in the charges against these student-athletes,” the statement said. “In this type of situation, the athletics department works in conjunction with the university. We will have more to say at the appropriate time.”

All four players were backups last season for Alabama, which has won two straight national titles and three of the past four.

Pettway was named to the All-SEC freshman team for his work at defensive end, recording 2.5 sacks and four tackles for loss.

Hayes, a former four-star linebacker in the 2012 class, had 14 tackles, including two in the Crimson Tide’s Discover BCS National Championship rout of Notre Dame, with most of his work coming on special teams.

Calloway, arrested for marijuana possession in 2011, played in 12 games as a redshirt freshman. He started off the year at linebacker before moving to H-back, where he carried the ball 10 times.

Williams was also arrested Sunday and released on $500 bond.

A separate police media release says that arrest stemmed from an incident at a convenience store in which a clerk called police and told them Williams was “acting erratic and threatening that he had something in the trunk of his vehicle after a dispute about paying for gas.”

The clerk told police Williams and other occupants of a vehicle the player was sitting in the back of “left the store and began messing with something in the trunk.” The car was later stopped by police, who say a gun for which he did not have a license was found on Williams.

Information from TideNation’s Alex Scarborough and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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Four Tide freshmen suspended after arrests