This is the wildest story you will read today.
Well, that doesn’t involve Penn State.
Leonard Young, basketball player for Fresno Pacific University, an NAIA school, went on a rampage after finding out he was cut from the basketball team. And when I say rampage, I’m serious. Young was booked on Tuesday night on suspicion of carjacking, resisting arrest, vandalism, harming a police dog and being under the influence of a controlled substance. That sounds bad enough, but where it gets good are the details listed in the police report. From the Fresno Bee (WARNING: excessively long, but oh-so-necessary, blockquote ahead):
About 11:30 p.m. Monday, officers went to Chestnut and Butler avenues in southeast Fresno after getting reports of a naked man running in the street. Callers said he seemed intoxicated and was pounding his fists on cars.
The first officer who arrived watched Young, who is 6 feet tall and weighs 170 pounds, until other officers could assist him.
Young’s friends, who said they were members of the Fresno Pacific basketball team, told the officer that Young had been kicked off the team about an hour earlier. They said he “tore up” his apartment in the nearby Cypress Pointe complex, then ran naked into the street.
Witnesses at a gas station said Young assaulted two women in the parking lot, knocking one to the ground. Young also reportedly pounded his fists on the bullet-proof glass at the store and on several cars in the parking lot.
As officer Brian Sturgeon was getting his dog, Jack, out of his police car, Young ran up to him. Sturgeon pushed Young back, but Young got in the front seat and put the car in drive.
Sturgeon and Young grappled, and Jack bit Young on his thigh. Young hit the dog as he tried to drive off. Sturgeon and Jack were only partially in the car as they tried to stop Young.
Sturgeon managed to put a foot on the brake pedal, but Young drove the car at about 10 mph across the street. It came to a stop at the gas station.
Officers tried to pull Young from the car. Officer Zack Chastain shot his Taser at Young, but it had no effect. He tried twice more, but he could not slow Young.
Young kept a strong grip on the steering wheel as Sturgeon and officer Theran Higginbotham tried to pull him from the car. Finally, a blow to Young’s wrist with a flashlight loosened his grip on the steering wheel, and he was pulled out of the car and handcuffed.
No officers were injured, and Jack was unharmed.
Thank goodness Jack was unharmed.
Young is a transfer from Coppin State in Maryland. According to the Fresno Pacific athletic director, he was on track to be eligible in January. Now, I don’t proclaim to be an aficionado of NAIA hoops, but I’m fairly certain someone that averaged 9.8 ppg in the MEAC would be a fairly big addition to the Fresno Pacific program. As such, I’m assuming that Young must have done something pretty outlandish to have gotten himself kicked off of the team judging by his reaction to the news.
We can all chuckle at the thought of a naked man running through a gas station parking lot trying to steal a police car, but it really isn’t a laughing matter. Not only is Young clearly a troubled kid, but we are extremely lucky that no one was seriously injured. What would have happened if he was actually able to gain control of the police car?
Here’s to hoping that young man finds his way.