Following the release of PSU basketball stars Scott Morrison and Jeremiah Dominguez from a Mexican prison in Cabo San Lucas on Tuesday, friends who were on the trip with the duo say they think Morrison did not assault a U.S. citizen. San Lucas police arrested Dominguez and Morrison in the Nowhere Bar sometime late on Sun., March 30, under the belief that they were involved in the assault of a college student working in the area three days earlier. Since their arrest, Morrison and Dominguez have denied assaulting the man, Kyle Meagher from Michigan, their friends and wire reports say.
PSU players released from Mexico: Innocent, friends say
Following the release of PSU basketball stars Scott Morrison and Jeremiah Dominguez from a Mexican prison in Cabo San Lucas on Tuesday, friends who were on the trip with the duo say they think Morrison did not assault a U.S. citizen.
San Lucas police arrested Dominguez and Morrison in the Nowhere Bar sometime late on Sun., March 30, under the belief that they were involved in the assault of a college student working in the area three days earlier. Since their arrest, Morrison and Dominguez have denied assaulting the man, Kyle Meagher from Michigan, their friends and wire reports say.
Both Dominguez and Morrison were released from jail late Tuesday because Mexican laws prevented Meagher from pressing charges, according to an article by The Oregonian.
Sara Treat, one of a group of PSU students who joined the basketball players on vacation in San Lucas, says that Morrison and Dominguez acted normal on Saturday and Sunday. Treat said that during the time she spent with them before they were arrested, Morrison and Dominguez mentioned nothing of getting into a fight.
“There’s no way that Scott would do this,” Treat said.
Meagher was found in the street on Friday night, beaten and with a broken jaw.
Brian Curtis, a senior and a guard on the men’s basketball team who went to San Lucas, also said Morrison and Dominguez acted normal in the ensuing days after the assault. Curtis said Morrison is one of his closest friends and the situation is a misunderstanding.
“If Scott did anything crazy, he would have told me about it. They tell me everything, especially Scott,” Curtis said on Wednesday. “Honestly, he’s not that kind of guy. I’ve never seen him punch anyone.”
The Associated Press reported that Meager was not able to identify his attackers, although the doctor who helped repair his jaw said Meager identified the two with a photo. The report added that an acquaintance of Meagher told police Morrison and Dominguez may have been the attackers. After police arrested the PSU basketball players on the tip, the person disappeared.
Dominguez was cleared of any involvement in the incident by Mexican authorities, but was still detained because he ran when the authorities tried to arrest the men.
Despite the uncertainty of Morrison’s guilt, the PSU athletic department chose to suspend both players from the men’s basketball team until further notice.
“There is cause to believe that the two student-athletes have acted outside the reasonable standards of behavior established by our athletics program and are therefore suspended at this time,” wrote assistant athletic director Mike Lund in a press release.
Neither Treat nor Curtis were with Morrison and Dominguez Friday night when the assault is said to have taken place. The group arrived in San Lucas on Tuesday, March 25, and stayed at the house of a friend.
The group spent most of the days at the beach and doing other activities. They spent many nights at the bars in San Lucas, which Treat said are close to one another.
Both Treat and Curtis said they spent time with Dominguez and Morrison throughout the night on Friday, but they kept no real track of who was where at what time. Like most other nights, Treat said people in the group returned to the house at different hours of the night.
On Saturday, after Meagher is believed to have been attacked, Treat said nothing was odd, which she said would be unlikely if Morrison and Dominguez had been in a fight the night before. Saturday night, some of the group went drinking again at the bars.
“They were just as normal as could be,” she said.
Sunday was also normal. That night, when everyone went to the bar again, they traveled separate groups, as usual.
The next morning, a group went to the beach without Morrison and Dominguez, thinking the two had met girls and stayed away from the house. It wasn’t until about 4 p.m. Monday that they were informed the teammates had been arrested the night before.
The men’s basketball coach, Ken Bone, said neither Dominguez nor Morrison are aggressive enough on the court, let alone socially.
“What they’ve been accused of is definitely a shocker to me,” Bone said Wednesday, while on vacation in Texas. “Those two guys by nature are not aggressive kids.”
Meagher has returned to Michigan and is now with his family and under medical care.
Alejandro Rojas, general manager of Balboa World Class Clinic and one of the men who operated on Meagher, said he estimates Meager’s medical expenses at the hospital to be around $40,000. He said he expects it could cost around another $50,000 for Meagher to fully recover, though he thinks Meagher will never fully recover psychologically.
Rojas said Meagher is a skinny man and when they began operating, his gums were torn, three of his teeth were knocked out and his jaw was broken into multiple pieces. He said he thinks one punch could not have done this much damage.
“Even if Mike Tyson hit you in the face, it would break it in two pieces,” Rojas said. The doctor added that Meagher was found by a cab driver, who drove him to the hospital.
Meagher told The Oregonian late last night that he is sure Morrison attacked him. The Associated Press reports that Meagher told police he could not identify his attacker and only remembers being punched and losing consciousness.
Much of the incident still remains foggy. Dominguez did not answer phone calls, and other outlets have been unable to reach Morrison. Both players have returned to the U.S.
The incident comes a little over a week after the two players led the Vikings to PSU’s first ever berth in the NCAA Tournament. Dominguez, a 5-foot-6 junior guard, was named Big Sky Player of the Year and conference Newcomer of the Year. Morrison, a 6-foot-11 senior center, was the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year.
Curtis and Treat returned to Portland on Tuesday as scheduled, knowing that there was nothing else they could do in Mexico to help their friends. Treat said she thinks the coverage Morrison has received was surprising and unfortunate because of how much it has portrayed him as the culprit.
“It makes me really sad because for a second, I started to doubt them. I just think that sucks,” Treat said. “I just feel bad that I doubted them for a second.”