Source: Bozeman denies grabbing restaurant employee

Updated: February 6, 2007, 12:47 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

FARMVILLE, Va. -- Morgan State basketball coach Todd Bozeman was charged with misdemeanor assault after an argument with a restaurant employee following a close loss to Longwood.

Bozeman also is being charged with curse and abuse, Sgt. Pam Wilson said Monday.

Bozeman "just went belligerent, screaming that he didn't want ham sandwiches," and grabbed and shook a female assistant manager.

Police were called to Mulligan's restaurant near the Longwood campus Saturday after Bozeman arrived to pick up dinner for the team, according to restaurant manager Carlos Holland.

Holland said Bozeman "just went belligerent, screaming that he didn't want ham sandwiches," and grabbed and shook a female assistant manager.

"We had kids in here eating, nice and quiet with their families," Holland said. "He's the head coach of a university, showing a bad example."

According to a source close to Bozeman, the coach denied to his attorney that he put his hands on the employee. Bozeman, the source said, said the woman's story was "fabricated" and that he re-entered the restaurant seeking reimbursement because the sandwiches he was given were not what he ordered. He and the employee then had a verbal exchange, the source said.

Bozeman was not taken into custody, according to Police Chief Stuart Dunnavant.

Bozeman plans on returning to Virginia soon to resolve the issue, the source said, but not until after Monday. Morgan State beat Delaware State, 54-40 on the road Monday, snapping Delaware State's 22-game home win streak.

Officials at the Baltimore, Md., university are looking into the matter, including interviewing Farmville police and speaking with Bozeman and others present during the argument, Morgan State spokesman Clinton R. Coleman said.

"We believe that this whole incident appears to have grown out of a terrible misunderstanding, and of course we regret that it occurred," Coleman said. "We are taking a wait-and-see approach to this."

Morgan State blew a 10-point second-half lead and lost to Longwood 75-73 at the buzzer.

ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz contributed to this report. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.