Two Panthers cheerleaders dismissed

Updated: November 8, 2005, 9:08 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Two Carolina Panthers cheerleaders who witnesses told police were having sex with each other in a bathroom stall at a Tampa, Fla., nightclub were arrested and charged early Sunday following a run-in with patrons and police.

Renee Thomas
Thomas

Angela Keathley
Keathley

According to a police report obtained by the CBS TV affiliate in Tampa and the Charlotte Observer, Angela Ellen Keathley and Renee Thomas were arrested following an incident at Banana Joe's, in Tampa's Channelside district, at 2:10 a.m. ET.

The cheerleaders were kicked off the team Monday for violating a signed code of conduct, Panthers spokesman Charlie Dayton said. The two violated a rule that bans conduct that's embarrassing to the team or organization.

In the police report, witnesses claimed Thomas and Keathley were having sex with each other in a stall when other patrons grew angry that the two were taking so long in the bathroom.

Another woman waiting to use the bathroom got into an argument with the two, and Thomas hit that person in the face, according to details of the report posted on TampaBay10.com, the CBS TV affiliate's Web site.

Keathley, who was escorted from the nightclub, was so drunk she could barely stand, the report said. Police described Keathley as rude and belligerent with police.

When Thomas was arrested, she gave police the name of another Panthers cheerleader -- Kristen Lanier Owen, the Observer and TampaBay10.com reported. Thomas, who was charged with one count of battery, might face additional charges for lying to police, once they confirm her identity.

Keathley was charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing or opposing an officer.

Other Panthers cheerleaders bailed Thomas and Keathley out of Hillsborough County jail later Sunday morning, TampaBay10.com reported.

The cheerleaders made the trip to Tampa on their own -- the squad performs on the sideline only at home games. Panthers officials at Sunday afternoon's game said they were aware of the report, but declined further comment when contacted by the Observer.

According to the Panthers' official team Web site on NFL.com, Keathley is a registered nurse and second-year member of the TopCats. Thomas is listed as a student at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and first-year member of the cheerleading squad.

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