Duke cornerback Hud Mellencamp faces felony charge in fight

lkeeley@newsobserver.comAugust 15, 2013 

Duke walk-on sophomore football player Hud Mellencamp, the son of singer John Mellencamp, faces a felony battery charge in his native Bloomington, Ind.

An arrest warrant was issued Thursday by the Bloomington Police Department for Mellencamp, 19, his brother Speck, 18, and Ty A. Smith, 18. All three men are facing a single count of battery resulting in serious bodily injury, a Class C felony, stemming from a July 29 incident that left an unnamed male with facial fractures that required stitches and the attention of a plastic surgeon.

According to a press release from the Bloomington Police and a probable cause affidavit, officers were dispatched to a Bloomington residence at 2:45 a.m. on July 29 in response to a fight that had taken place. The 19-year-old who was injured told police that the Mellencamp brothers and their friend, Smith, climbed onto his porch where he was sitting with two friends. When the man asked if he could help him, Speck Mellencamp reportedly punched him in the face, knocking him backward. After he fell on the porch, the man was punched, kicked and stomped by the Mellencamps and Smith, the release said.

The man’s three roommates came down to the porch to break up the fight, and, once he was back on his feet, Speck Mellencamp reportedly knocked him backwards off the porch and again struck him repeatedly. The roommates pulled Speck off the man, and the Mellencamps and Smith ran from the residence.

The witnesses were able to identify the Mellencamps and Smith and confirmed that no words were exchanged other than the initial, “Can I help you?” Speck Mellencamp told police in two interviews that he had been at a party at that residence earlier in the night and had been struck by an unknown male. He had returned later in the night with Hud Mellencamp and Smith because he was upset about being punched and thought the unknown male lived there or was being hidden by the residents.

Hud Mellencamp said in a police interview that night that the fight had just been between Speck Mellencamp and the unnamed man, a statement that was contradicted by two eyewitnesses on the porch and the three roommates who broke up the fight. According to the press release, investigators are making arrangements for Hud and Speck Mellencamp and Smith to turn themselves in.

Duke sports information director Art Chase confirmed that the team is aware of the charge. Mellencamp joined the Blue Devils as a freshman walk-on cornerback last season and did not see game action.

Head football coach David Cutcliffe released the following statement by email on Thursday night: "We are aware of the charges that Hud Mellencamp faces in Indiana. Currently, we are giving him the opportunity to return to Indiana to address his legal issues. We will refrain from any further comment until more information becomes available."

Keeley: 919-829-4556; Twitter: @laurakeeley

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