By now, most of you have probably heard the news regarding Notre Dame’s reserve wide receiver Will Mahone. If you haven’t, on Sunday night Mahone was arrested by Mohoning County (Ohio) police on three felony charges (assault of a police officer, intimidation of a public servant, and vandalism of a government entity) and two misdemeanors (resisting arrest and disorderly conduct).
The incident occurred when officers responded to a domestic disturbance call relating to a fight. When officers arrived, witnesses described Mahone as highly intoxicated and claimed he was head-butting/punching vehicles as well as attempting to fight several people.
According to the police report filed by the Austintown Police Department (as relayed by Eric Hansen of the South Bend Tribune):
Police say an officer advised Mahone to calm down and get on the ground, to which Mahone responded with, “(Expletive), white boy.” Police say an officer then took Mahone to the ground, but he repeatedly resisted arrest. Once Mahone finally was able to be handcuffed, police claim, he responded, “(Expletive), you white piece of (expletive). Takes these cuffs off and I’ll kill you. I’ll (expletive) kill you.” As Mahone was being led to the cruiser, police allege, he began to scream and shout and tried to pull away. Mahone is further accused of whipping his head back in an aggressive manner, striking a police officer on his forehead. Police accuse Mahone of trying to kick police after they again took him to the ground. At that point, an officer drive-stunned Mahone to gain compliance. As he was being taken to the cruiser, Mahone is accused of continually yelling, “Take these cuffs off, and I’ll kill all of you.” Once placed in the cruiser, Mahone allegedly violently kicked the window in the back seat of the cruiser and had to be drive-stunned again. While police were outside interviewing witnesses, Mahone allegedly began to spit on the windows and the seats of the cruiser, at which time a spit net was applied over Mahone’s head. When Mahone was told he was being transported to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Austintown to have a laceration on his left eye examined, Mahone allegedly responded, “Good, get me out of these cuffs and I’ll kill you and all them bitches there.” As the behavior escalated, the officer rerouted to Mahoning County Justice Center for incarceration. Mahone is accused of then stating to the officer, ‘Bro, when I get out, I got a Glock 9 for your (expletive),” referring to a handgun. When Mahone arrived at the justice center, he was seen by medical staff and refused admittance. He was then transported to St. Elizabeth’s, where he was escorted to the emergency room for observation.
I’m sure you can see already, this does not bode well for any young man. Assaulting a police officer is serious business, and intoxicated or not, threatening to shoot an officer isn’t going to win him any sympathy points in court.
Frankly, this is a very disturbing story and it will likely spell the end of Mahone’s playing career at Notre Dame (Mahone has no stats and has appeared in only two games thus far). The University released a statement Monday afternoon stating that Mahone has been suspended indefinitely from the football team, though he will still be allowed to attend classes. It is also the policy of the University to remain silent on any internal discipline set forth by the school.
The University has mixed precedent regarding felonious students. I, personally, have seen students expelled from school immediately after their arraignment and have also seen the school stand by its students when facing criminal charges. Likely, he will be asked (or forced) to take a leave of absence from the school to take care of his personal matters.
Lately, the school has done a good job, in this author’s humble opinion, of allowing students to own up to and fix their mistakes. Expelling students and kicking them into the streets does nothing to help them build character or address any attitude/substance abuse problems.
By allowing them to earn their way back to the school, it gives kids who may have very little hope something to work for. Goals are very important in the rehabilitation process and I hope the school continues to give kids like Mahone the chance to redeem themselves and grow as human beings.
There’s one more thing that needs discussing regarding this story: this is not the same thing as Tommy Rees and Carlo Calabrese. It’s not close. It’s not. Stop it. Stop the comparisons. In South Bend, Tommy and Carlo were at a party that was getting broken up by police and decided to run away. It was emotional and they definitely toed the line with officers, but they were never charged with felonies. There is a massive difference between officers breaking up an off-campus party and responding to a domestic disturbance call. Please know that difference.
Also please, spare everyone the grief that Will Mahone won’t get special treatment because he’s not a starter. Mahone will get what he deserves for what turned out to be several hours of malicious and violent behavior. Rees and Calabrese were drunk and stupid, and officers of the law and of the court know the difference between that and belligerent, violent behavior.
I do wish the best for Mahone and hope he can see this as a “rock bottom” situation upon which to build his future. Mistakes are made by all of us, and hopefully he learns and grows from his.