ATHENS — The arrests of Georgia football players Julian Rochester and Chad Clay came after UGA police reported a total of potentially more than $1,000 damage from BB guns to their rooms and the area adjacent to them.
Police also found “drug-related objects” in the bathroom belonging to Clay, according to the search warrant, but did not find sufficient amounts to charge for that.
Rochester and Clay were each charged with two felony counts, weapons on school grounds and criminal damage to property.
This originally dates back to last Thursday, when police were called to McWhorter Hall, where a structural maintenance foreman – who had entered the room investigating a water leak – had found a BB/pellet gun lying in the residence belonging to Clay and Rochester. It was seen lying on a barstool in an area that divides the kitchen and living room areas.
While there, they also noticed several BBs on the floor of the hallway outside the room, as well as a BB lodged in a hallway light diffuser, and another located in the drywall. A custodian had also advised that she had “cleaned up several BBs from the hallway adjacent” to the rooms, and in the elevators.
At that time, the estimated damage was broken down by the foreman:
- $350 for the door to the adjacent room if it could not be replaced, $100 if it could be repaired.
- $650 to the refrigerator in Rochester and Clay’s room
- $75 to the light diffuser in the hallway
- $10 for holes in the wall next to the adjacent room.
Witness statements were then taken from four people, and then a search warrant was sought to search the common areas of the room for any handguns, BB guns, or ammunition or projectiles related to handguns. The warrant was granted, and further investigation of the room found: A total of 12 BB “indentions” on the refrigerator and freezer; several more indentions in the drywall behind the refrigerator; a “great deal” of broken glass on top of the refrigerator; “several” BB indentions on the fronts of six wooden cabinets in the kitchen.
Additional, several wine bottles and two liquor bottles had “apparently” been struck with a BB-sized projectile.
At that point, another search warrant was sought and obtained for the bedrooms. It was in the bathroom of what was identified as Bedroom A – belonging to Clay – that suspected marijuana remnants were found, along with a red and clear glass bong and a grinder. The police report states that the “baggie did not contain a sufficient amount of marijuana for testing, therefore no charges were filed concerning this item.”
Rochester and Clay returned later on Thursday while the officers were executing the second warrant. The players were interviewed at the scene, but their statements are not mentioned in the report, other than Rochester requesting that his phone charger be retrieved from his room.
Further investigation was required, and it wasn’t until Monday at 3:15 that an arrest warrant was signed.
Kim Stephens, an Athens defense attorney representing the two players, said the players were shooting solo cups in their dorm room with a Daisy BB gun, which left marks on the door and in other areas of the room. (Solo cups are never mentioned din the 20-page incident report, though that doesn’t mean the players weren’t shooting at some and then removed them.)
The complete incident report, which numbers 20 pages, was provided by the UGA police department.