Halloween brawl results in assault charges for ex-BYU players, others
Provo • Misdemeanor assault charges have been filed against two former BYU football players and two other men for their involvement in a Halloween-night brawl at a 24-hour Provo restaurant.
After reviewing surveillance tape of the incident and conducting up to a dozen interviews, the Provo City Attorney's Office and Provo Police Dept. announced Thursday that charges will be filed against 23-year-old Joe Sampson and 21-year-old Zachary Stout. The players were kicked off the BYU football team by coach Bronco Mendenhall and subsequently withdrew from school last week.
Also charged Thursday were 20-year-old Matthew Santos, a former BYU football walk-on, and 21-year-old Alexander Jackman.
Sgt. Brandon Post of the Provo Police Dept. said police obtained the video taken around 3 a.m. on Nov. 1 at the Rancherito's restaurant in Provo and were able to identify the individuals involved in the melee. The video shows how the fight started, how it escalated, and how a woman was punched in the face by one of the men charged with assault.
Sampson, from Oakland, Calif., and Stout, from Moorpark, Calif., did not play in BYU's 52-13 win over Idaho last week. BYU cornerback Jordan Johnson, who appears on the videos but is not shown fighting, was not charged. He sat out of the Idaho game for what BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall described as "discipline reasons" and is expected to play Saturday against San Jose State.
Santos, from Montgomery, N.Y., walked on in 2010 but never played for the Cougars.
Last week, BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins confirmed that the school's Honor Code Office had initiated reviews of both Sampson and Stout, but said the reviews were not completed because the players withdrew from school.
Mendenhall said Monday that he had not viewed the videos and did not intend to.
"Others had seen [the videos], and basically gave me an account of what happened," Mendenhall said. "But I am not interested in watching it. I have a really good idea of what happened, and am anxious to now to help the young men grow and progress, but also for them to have restitution for what they have done, and learn from it.
And for those that were involved on the other side, I hope that they are not badly hurt. I hope that they are OK and they can go on with their lives as well."
The coach said he was "at peace" with the way the incident was handled and the punishment that was meted out.
"I care about my players, and I will support them now that I am not their coach, currently," he said.