Tepper has broken leg

Updated: June 30, 2005, 3:16 PM ET
Associated Press

BERKELEY, Calif. -- A University of California, Berkeley, football player was seriously injured when authorities say he was allegedly intentionally struck by a car driven by a group of men leering at a female friend.

Mike Tepper, 19, was walking with the woman near campus during the weekend. The men began taunting the woman, a Cal volleyball player, and eventually cut the pair off with their car, police said.

When the men refused to leave the woman alone, the 6-foot-6, 312-pound lineman jumped between the car and the woman. The men allegedly then ran over Tepper twice, breaking his leg.

"My season's toast," Tepper said Wednesday as he recuperated from surgery to repair a broken fibula and torn ankle ligaments. He had nine screws and one plate put in his leg and can't walk on it for eight weeks.

Police have arrested Johnny Ray Smith, 33, and Calvin Joe Kelley, 29, for violating terms of their probation or parole, authorities said. Officers also arrested a third man, but prosecutors declined to file charges against him because of scant evidence.

Police are investigating the incident as an assault with a deadly weapon.

Cal football coach Jeff Tedford said he was "proud of the courage Mike showed Saturday night."


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press