Tommy Rees Arrested: the Story

Well, we get what we deserve. As fans, we always complain in the offseason that we don’t get enough news. But as Notre Dame fans, a quiet offseason might be on our wish list pretty soon.

Anyways, last night, Tommy Rees was arrested. You can imagine how the GrantlandX phone was blowing up immediately, after my numerous Tommy Rees endorsements all offseason. But the story is simple:

A college party was being thrown right off of campus, to celebrate the end of classes (yesterday was the last day of classes for Notre Dame students before finals. Trust me, this is about the ONLY time Notre Dame students party on Wednesdays anymore. Embarrassing yet true) and several players were in attendance. The South Bend Police Department received a noise complaint about the party, and proceeded to the house to shut it down. When the police came knocking, several of the underage students, including Rees, tried to take off and run. The police then yelled for them to stop and stay put, at which point everyone but Tommy listened. Suffice to say, Tommy has never been known for his wheels, and was quickly corralled. Actually, he was running from the officer, and got away from him in the street, but he found his path blocked by a cabbie who heard the officer yelling for Tommy to stop. The cab driver restrained Tommy until SBPD caught up. Tommy was reportedly not cooperative, arguing with the cops, and even kneed one of them, knocking the wind out of him (it was also reported that he kicked one of them, although this hasn’t been confirmed). UFC may or may not be in his future. Oh yeah, and then SBPD pepper sprayed him. Carlo Calabrese (also at the party, but who is 21) tried to intervene on Rees’ behalf and attempt to persuade the police to leave Tommy alone, but was unsuccessful.

Carlo received a disorderly conduct charge, but managed to get off an awesome menacing statement before he left: “My people will get you”, is reportedly what he told the police as he left the scene. So we’ll see if the D-Line is doing a sack dance on the SBPD in the near future.

For the record, Rees reportedly had a BAC of .11 (.08 is the legal limit) while Calabrese registered a .12. Now, keeping in mind the weights of the two players, Rees was really falling behind anyway.

All jokes aside, here’s bottom line: While Carlo is 21 and is getting off with a misdemeanor disorderly conduct, Tommy Rees is facing four charges, including battery to law enforcement, which is a felony.

Now, attending the University, I have a lot of feelings on this subject. Almost every single student has a run-in with SBPD at some point in their career, and that generally occurs after a busted house party. And what occurred at the incident above is pretty standard operating procedure. That is, they approach the house and tell everyone to stay calm, and not run. They ask what is going on, but then tell the house owners that the party has break up and go home. Way more often than not, if everyone is calm and cooperative, NOBODY gets in trouble. While it is extremely frustrating that South Bend has a lot of more serious crime that should be taken care of first, it is still the job of the police to respond to complaints such as the one they received last night. Look, everybody knows that college parties go on, and underage drinking is rampant across the country. And though everybody gets mad when the police come for a party bust, they really do allow most kids to leave unscathed, because they know that an arrest or even just a drinking ticket is a serious black mark to throw on a student’s resume. But in the case of Tommy Rees, he panicked, wasn’t cooperative, and really screwed up. He has nobody to blame but himself for how it turns out. And that is pretty much the consensus on campus: He was in a bad situation, sure, but if he handled himself properly, it is almost certain that this event never gets reported. While everyone hates the SBPD as a rule, it is pretty hard to defend the standard “drunken idiot” at a party. The biggest frustration from the students is that situations like this are bound to happen, because the on-campus party culture at Notre Dame is so restricted. Whereas an on-campus drinking incident could be handled by RAs, rectors, or even the dreaded ResLife, by naturally forcing partying and drinking off campus, Notre Dame is subjecting its own students to the city police. And this is what happens.

As for how this affects the quarterback race (yeah, the important stuff), we will have to wait and see. Obviously this isn’t a good thing for Tommy, but Michael Floyd was suspended zero games last year for a DWI (which, it is important to note, is not a felony like battery). As the details become clearer, anything can happen. This could be a blip on the radar and nothing like Floyd’s DWI last year (Tommy’s first offense compared to Floyd’s third), or be so incredibly dumb that we may be looking for a future dismissal. But as always, we hope for the best. A small note would also be that since the football team has no more events until the summer, both Carlo and Tommy will get their Brian Kelly scolding away from the rest of the team, so he won’t be able to make a point to all of them, at least in person.

A very important note: Tommy Rees will be formally charged at 1 PM ET today. If the prosecution feels that the case is too weak, all charges could potentially be dropped. So that is definitely something to monitor.

UPDATE: Tommy Rees and Carlo Calabrese will not appear in court today (May 3rd). Calabrese is currently scheduled for May 17th, while Rees could appear in court as soon as tomorrow.

Another UPDATE: Tommy Rees is being charged with four misdemeanors, as the felony charge was dropped. He will be released on bail later today.

For constant updates, jokes, and ALWAYS the inside scoop, follow me @GrantlandX on Twitter

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  • Jason

    It is unfortunate, and I’m not much of a Tommy guy, so if he gets punished and can’t play, I’m really OK with that. Still, it doesn’t make the University look all that great. Also, if the QB position is all about decison-making, what does it say about Tommy that he panicked when under pressure? (Half-kidding, since he WAS drunk, after all, but still, you’d think if he had better character, he would have simply cooperated, like most drunk kids.)

    • Trent

      Valid point, but we all know a .11 is not ‘drunk’, especially for someone his size. So the ‘drunk’ excuse doesn’t really fly.

      • bd

        ah pretty sure a .11 for a guy who is 220lbs is different than a guy is 140lbs. i.e.: the 220lb guy has to drink more alcohol to achieve the .11 than the 140lb guy. And at .11 you can expect:Poor Reflexes, decreased reaction time, staggering or slurred speech. Sounds drunk to me!

    • starkruzr

      This is entirely unsurprising. What did we expect to happen when Tommy Rees was under pressure and tried to scramble?

    • Russell paige

      Golson could be totally wasted and would NEVER be caught by a KRISPY CREME EATING SBPD officer. If you can not out run a middle aged cop then how can you expect to evade a D1 defensive end coming with bad intentions – just joking. Thanks Tommy for making the case I have been pleading for the last year. Does this come as a surprise to anyone? Tommy dropped at least one F bomb during the spring game on TV – can you say melt down under pressure. Game performances last year = bad decisions. Everyone in ND nation wants a mobile QB with poise under pressure to run Kelly’s system. This is a TON of pressure for a 19 year old. I pray Tommy takes this adversity and makes positive decisions moving forward. Bring on Golson Baby!!!

    • DB

      Come on! This reflects badly on Rees not the University. No university is populated 100% by Dudley Dorights. The WORLD knows this.

  • Trent

    Well, this will help make Kelly’s job easier. He was always too chicken to quit the ‘Tommy Rees Experiment’. Now he has a good excuse. And the Notre Dame football team will be better off.

    On top of that…we all drank when we were in college BUT we all weren’t stupid enough to assault a police officer. You can’t get away with that anywhere, so if he gets booted from college he probably deserves it.

    • NDtex

      It all depends on if the assault charge actually sticks. Tommy was wrestled to the ground, so all kinds of things could have happened and the knee could’ve been incidental.

      I’m really interested to see if the prosecutors actually go for the assault charge. If they do, going to be a very, VERY bad situation for Tommy.

      • ND Naperville

        Looks like the assault felony charge was dropped. Good for Tommy.

  • Pat

    Thanks for the write-up, Grantland – a very fair and sober account of the realities of the situation. Please keep us up to speed on how things progress.

  • Ska

    We have only heard the police side of the story. It will be interesting to hear the student side, hopefully soon. Many South Bend Police are good officers, but there are some that create problems and are unnecessarily rough/thuggish. With all the gear that police officers wear a slow non-athlete could outrun a police officer. There is something fishy about the police side of the story. One thing is certain, Tommy should not have jumped the fence and started to run.

  • The Biscuit

    I am old and out of shape. I am pretty sure I could smoke any cop in South Bend, drunk off my ass. In fact, that’d be a great bit. Someone find me a cop to race. Stanford game weekend, this fall, after I’m 10 beers in.

    • NDtex

      Just watch your knees, man.

    • Xavier Onassis

      If you’re racing to a Dunkin’ Donut shop, my money is on the cop.

  • JSmalls

    Just a note – Last year, I was hammered and had parked my car up front at one of the businesses on SR 23. I asked attendant, can I keep my car where it was at overnight b/c I had a ride coming to get me, he asked if I could just move it to the back so he could sell a premium space again, I oblige by slamming into a brand new car..I had been drinking for about 20 hours with a 4 hour nap in between and the car owners came over called the cops for a police report. Officer asks if I had been drinking, I said of course I have, but I wasn’t going to drive, the SBPD officer literally got into my car and parked my car in back for me, and told me to consider it a warning…

    I know this is rare, but cops don’t like you to screw with them or their day…if you messed up, they know you messed up, just be up front and see what happens

  • jstshark

    Nice write up. I can’t help but point out that the legal limit for anyone under 21 years old is .00. Admittedly, a number that I had a difficult time maintaining at Tommy’s age when I was in college.

  • fossilman

    This news is very disheartening. Tommy has never been in trouble and usually flies under the radar. I hope they give a break to a first time offender. I’m more worried about Brian Kelly than the police. He may make an example out of Rees. I know its normal for colllege students to party and let off a little steam but high profile players have to be smarter then Tommy. This is bad news for Rees and the football program. People love to hate on ND any chance they get. This may be an easy decision for BK to make.

    • ND Naperville

      Finally, someone that is worried for the kid and not the football team. He’s 19. As far as I know never been in trouble before. Cut the kid some slack. I know I did some really stupid stuff when I was 19. Stupid decision, but let’s hope he comes out a better person for this. Let’s hope this situation turns into a positive like it did for Floyd.

      • Irish72

        Please Tommy Rees is a moron, you don’t run from the cops and you certainly don’t resist either. The problem is kids in general think they are invincible let alone ones that have the stature of being the starting QB for ND, I WAS NOT there but I can replay it in my mind and it all fits with the tough guy being held back by party-goers “Carlo the bigger moron Calabrese” MY PEOPLE WILL GET YOU, wonder if he said that to the USC player last year as he cost us 15 yards. Tommy was out getting liquored up with his future bench partner cause they both know there time on the field as starters is all but over. WORD OF THE DAY MORON, can you say it, M O R O N , I knew you could!!!!!

        Here is to life after TR and CC, teach’em a lesson BK.

  • herloyalsuns

    I don’t know who you hang out with, but Notre Dame students do party on Wednesdays… Maybe get off your blog and go find out

    • NDtex

      Says the guy that bothered commenting on a blog?

    • ND fan

      Finnys on Wednesday is the best night of the week, has been all year. $1 pitchers, man.

    • ND fan

      As a student I completely agree with almost everything you said, except the partying comment…

      Finnys on Wednesday is the best night of the week, has been all year.

      $1 pitchers, man.

      • Milf

        $1 pitchers?!? I’m moving back to South Bend

      • Twibby

        $1 pitchers, gimme some of that. Does anyone remember a few years back when Finnys did the “reverse cover” and actually paid you $4 to come in? They also tried about a month of charging $5 for cover and then sending one of their Harley Davidson bouncers up top to make it rain all of the cash they had gotten a few times throughout the night.

        Oh college, how I miss you.

        • NDtex

          Finny’s never did such amazing things while I was there. Think the best offers they had was 5 dollar vodka/red bull pitchers.

          I got hosed and I freakin’ loved Finny’s.

  • Grantland-X

    Partying and bars are a little bit of a different scene, obviously because bars are a lot more public. Yeah, bars are what goes on during the week, (completely agree on the $1 pitchers) but the students that go to the bars, particularly midweek are still a small minority

  • Mr. Wednesday

    0.08 is the legal limit *to drive*. There is no non-driving legal limit. I believe anything 0.01 or higher may support a citation for public intox.

  • Mark G.

    Now the jokes roll in (most of the below jokes are stolen from EDSBS):

    1. Tommy did not assault officer – he was trying to toss a beer to a friend, overthrew him badly and hit two cops;
    2. In booking his file was incomplete.
    3. The fight started during a late-night bakery run when a friend pointed to the turnovers and said, “Hey, Tommy–”
    4. A friend playing guitar asked him for a pick, because he’s usually got a few on him.
    5. Became enraged at Dunkin’ Donuts when asked to choose half a dozen and told to “pick six.”
    6. Attempted to run, but was brought down by a policeman and a one-star MAC linebacker with a torn meniscus in his right knee.
    7. Still in line for two Heismans by Beano Cook’s count.

    That last one won’t mean too much to some current students, but is a running joke among older ND fans.

    I particularly like the one about the friend pointing to the turnovers in the bakery case ….

  • FightingSonOfNotreDame

    Grantlandx – thx for the write up, youre like out man on the ground. Question for you:

    Do the cops (or excise squad or whatever theyre called) still charge every underage kid in attendance at a house party? This seemed to be an out of control occurrence when guys on weis’s team would get nailed (I’m drawing a blank but thinking of that solid tight end we had that transferred to Stanford as a result).

    I hope this has let up a bit since I haven’t seen as many stories. However the running makes sense if that is the case. I concur with biscuit, How do you not out run a south bend cop?

    Any way Tommy fucked up resisting but these raids are still ridiculous unless in fact the cops just break it up and send every one home with no charge.

    Another question to grantlandx from an old man who graduated in 2000, are there still parties at turtle creek? Rally in the alley? It seems these never got busted cause there were no residents that weren’t students. There needs to be a safe haven for the players to unwind.

    • Grantland-X

      Fightingsonsofnotredame – No, they do not still charge every underage kid at the parties, if the house owners are calm and agreeable and just shut it down. Which is a really easy operation. Sometimes if things get difficult or people start running, they will obviously ticket a lot of people.

      The TE who transferred was Konrad Reuland.

      Turtle Creek isn’t as thriving a party place as it used to be (from what I’ve heard from graduates…obviously, I wasn’t around then) but still does have some solid stuff from time to time. You’re right, players and all students need more of a safe haven. I can’t really say if any place is going to step up and be that.

      • Mr. Wednesday

        Reuland is the TE who went to Stanford, but I think Will Yeatman is the TE that FSofND was thinking of. It should be noted that the main reason Yeatman got in a heap of trouble from the house party is because a condition of his probation for DUI was no alcohol (although that was by no means the only issue with that raid).

  • FightingSonOfNotreDame

    Meant to say “our man on the ground”

  • diz

    the chances rees played another down at qb were slim to none with 3 potential stars competing with him for the job. i think the larger issue is 1) how this negatively affects the university and 2) how this could turn into a very serious charge for a seemingly good kid. he’s definitely going to lose his starting spot and stands to lose much more if the felony stands up. SBPD is full of officers who feel empowered to take down what they see as the spoiled ND students throwing parties. my interactions with them have been less than pleasant so I would not doubt that this “knee to the chest and kick” were nothing more than the accidental flailing of a proven awkward athlete, blown out of proportion by an overzealous officer and department.

  • clearwall

    Damn, all it took to get Tommy to start running was a 6-pack of college kid beer? I coulda chipped in $3 for a case of Natty Light if that’s all it took!

  • Commoner

    It always ticks me off when I read about the SBPD raiding ND student’s parties. Don’t they have anything better to do than pick on college kids?

  • SDI

    Most recent report says cab driver used his car to block and help catch Rees. Insert Michigan graduate joke here:

    • Jackson

      Many scUM alums are driving cabs these days. Is there a degree offered there?

  • canuck75

    Sorry to say I can’t see the humour in this. The cops are dead wrong on this one. There should be discretion on the last day of classes. If a kid ran,and didn’t stop, the cops should let him go. Its analagous to not chasing a stolen car-simply not worth the potential downside.
    Tommy didn’t knee the guy-no one “knees” the guy as a way of fighting.Think of all the incidents where a guy is charged with assault and resisting arrest and ends up dead in the cells.
    Kelly should get the facts from the boys and then stand up for them.

    • Ken Kessner

      Really?? You couldn’t be MORE wrong on all counts…

  • pere marquette

    Just returned to the States after a month in Canada: drinking age 19, no problem! What a repressed society in this country.

  • irishize

    We have to recruit more speed! The only two guys nabbed were “Slow-mo” Carlo and Tommy, who has no escape ability. If Tommy can’t outrun a cabbie, how can he outrun an SC linebacker. Also, when Carlo said that, “My people will get you!”, did he “da mob” or Jersey Housewives? Not to worry! Tommy will get off with public service speaking engagements. The topic: “Why I need the South Bend police.”

  • tjak

    Yeah I was disappointed by Tommy’s play this year, but the one thing I thought about Tommy, regardless of on field problems was that he was the last guy at ND that I thought would get into trouble like this. I hope he learns from this mistake.

  • http://RoadRunner(TimeWarnerCable) 4 horsemen of the apocalypse

    And so the Drum (along with his feet) Beats Slowly for one Tommy Rees…. Maybe a phone call from Jimmy Clausen will ease his pain??? Or maybe it’s a turning point for the N.D. football program…. Somehow, this could actually help the football team…….

  • Terry

    Many Notre Dame students are privileged people, and they can get mouthy when they have a few beers in them. South Bend policemen are NOT privileged people, and they do NOT like it when spoiled little rich kids – which is the way many of them think of ND students – mouth off to them. When you – a student – find yourself in a situation where you are clearly in the wrong and the policeman has you dead to rights, it is probably a good idea to STFU.

    Stupid moves by both Tommy and Carlo.

    99% of the letters on this story were nasty, which is sad but not surprising.

    • Ken Kessner

      Cops may not LIKE people mouthing off but that is part of the job which must be endured. But resisting arrest is certainly another matter…

  • Rick

    It does not matter which way you slice it reese screwed up! He ran and he resisted arrest. Whether he kicked or used his knee intentionally or not it was his decision to resist and continue to struggle once he was hand cuffed. He may of panicked but he became aggressive when caught bottom line.
    As for the guy who earlier stated that 0.11 would not make Reese drunk I hope he is incorrect! If Reese was indeed in anyway still in control it makes the whole situation ever worse and more of a calculated response on his part.
    For everyone who has responded remember there is only one person in control of the decisions you make and that’s you. It appears that this has been going on ie police reaction from the beginning of time. All students know what to expect. If you choose to drink and get loud and proud then be willing to deal with the consequences. The only thing that surprised anyone in this situation was Reeses response and melt down when caught. People you may not agree with how the authorities deal with underage drinking and students but you know what to expect. So when you make a choice suck it up and deal with the consequences of your choices and quit blaming the world for things you chose to do.

    • Ken Kessner

      Dealing with consequences and accepting blame for ones actions…what an interesting concept!

  • Mark G.

    The risk of a felony charge is now off the table — the prosecutor decided to pursue only misdemeanor charges, as is appropriate in a case like this (and would the charges for any other person in this situation, whether or not a student or a football player).

    Both players will have to face Kelly and will get some sort of discipline, but probably will not keep them off the field. Tommy will face Res Life, which probably will put him on probation for a year and will require a bunch of hours of community service — the typical penalty for this kind of offense for first time offenders (well, at least those who do not knee cops). Tommy will just need to stay away from off campus parties until he turns 21. Highly unlikely either player would get kicked out of school over this. In other words, this story has now about run its course.

  • dp

    Say what you want about Tommy running…he kicked a cop. What an idiot regardless of age or motivation.

    Carlos comment about “my people will get you” was referring to Mafia, not his players…which by the way just because he lives in Jersey and is Italian doesn’t make him connected…because his family is far from connected.

  • http://herloyalsons tim “tennesee” grebe

    Reportedly, brian kelly is inquiring about the remaining college eligibility of the cop and the cabbie.