Student sentenced for assault after Penn State win

Updated: June 14, 2006, 10:40 AM ET
Associated Press

BELLEFONTE, Pa. -- A Penn State student who assaulted a police officer as football fans rushed the field after a victory last fall was sentenced to at least four months in prison, but will be eligible for work release.

Judge Bradley P. Lunsford told Nathan G. Lehman on Tuesday that his behavior after the Oct. 8 game against rival Ohio State was baffling, given his "unblemished background."

The 19-year-old engineering student was described as religious and a nondrinker.

Lehman pleaded guilty to aggravated assault for tackling university police officer Cyprien Brien, punching him in the face and putting him in a headlock that left him with bruised neck ligaments, authorities said.

In court, Lehman said he was distraught after a breakup with his girlfriend and two sleepless nights camped outside the stadium before the game.

"I probably came as close to snapping as I ever did," Lehman testified.

The judge sentenced him to four months to 23½ months in prison, with eligibility for work release, and a $1,000 fine.

After Penn State's 17-10 win over the Buckeyes, an estimated 2,000 fans rushed the field in celebration and stayed there for 20 minutes. Police in riot gear finally coaxed them off the field.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press