Kent State football player arrested for assault

By Grant Engle | KentWired.com Published:

Kent State University freshman linebacker Denzell L. Burton was arrested early Sunday morning on misdemeanor charges of assault and obstructing official business.

The incident stemmed from an alleged fight at the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity house at 222 University Drive.

Head football coach Darrell Hazell issued a brief statement to the Daily Kent Stater regarding Burton's status with the team.

"Denzell Burton has been suspended indefinitely for violating team policy," Hazell said.

Burton, 19, who lives in Korb Hall and is a graduate of Glenville High School in Cleveland, was arrested at 1:44 a.m. Sunday near the Wendy's restaurant on East Main Street. He was charged with one count of assault, a first-degree misdemeanor, and obstructing official business, a second-degree misdemeanor.

According to Kent police, Burton was stopped in the Wendy's parking lot after fleeing the scene of the alleged assault on foot.

The complaint was reported by Kent State students Michael Malek, Eric Malek, Kevin Ackerman and Bryant Ausperk.

A witness, who asked to not be named, said football players and fraternity brothers started pushing each other in the basement of the Lambda Chi house at 222 University Drive until the altercation spilled to the backyard.

"The football boys started pushing and punching Eric (Malek)," the witness said. "Then he was down in the fetal position and was covering his head. Then they started kicking him."

Kent police Lt. Jim Prusha said he was called to the Lambda Chi house in the spring to break up a skirmish between football players and fraternity brothers -- no charges were filed.

"When we charge somebody, or when we do a police report, we don't ask 'are you a football player," Prusha said. "In that case I only knew they were football players because they told me, and they were huge, athletic-looking guys."

Burton, who has not appeared in a game for the Flashes this season, was the only football player arrested, and no other players were named as witnesses or victims in the police report.

Burton will be arraigned at 8:15 a.m. today (Tuesday) in Portage County Municipal Court in Kent.

Three of the four complainants declined an interview with the Daily Kent Stater, and the fourth could not be reached.

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  • Only one arrest? Could it be that Burton is taking one for the team?