College Sued for Hoopsters' Assault
CHARLESTON, W. Va. (CN) - Three scholarship basketball players at the University of Charleston robbed and assaulted a man, and the school recruited them despite their "violent criminal pasts," the victim claims in court.
Andrew Rude sued the University of Charleston in Kanawha County Court.
It's a Division II NCAA school, with about 1,400 students, according to the university website. The school is the only defendant, though Rude's assailants are named in the lawsuit.
Rude claims the three scholarship players "did violently, maliciously, intentionally and criminally assault and injure with the intent of robbing" him on April 21, 2013.
The three players are Quincy Luther Washington, Robert Keith Dreher and Terrell Lee Lipkins, Rude says in the complaint.
The Charleston Gazette reported in July 2013 that all three men were charged with first-degree robbery, malicious wounding, and conspiracy; Lipkins and Washington also were charged with fraud with an access device.
"Rude, 58, suffered a fractured wrist and a cut on his scalp in the alleged attack," according to the Gazette. All three defendants were kicked off the team.
Washington pleaded guilty in September to two counts of malicious wounding; Lipkins pleaded guilty to robbery.
Lipkins and Dreher were sentenced in October to up to 2 years in a youth correctional facility. Washington, who was also charged with another robbery, was sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.
Rude said he was beaten unconscious and did not remember what happened.
"I had cuts on my face, a broken nose and blood on the brain from the blow," Rude said, according to the Gazette.
In his lawsuit against the college, Rude claims that the three athletes "had known or upon reasonable inquiry known violent criminal pasts outside of the State of West Virginia and without regard to such clear character flaws and with regard to said defendant's state admissions policies generally against admission of violent criminal offenders were received with open arms by defendant University of Charleston and allowed to reside rent-free at its Middle Hall, a dormitory located upon the campus of the University of Charleston, as scholarship athletes."
Rude adds that "but for their professed athletic skills [they] would not have been admitted to the University of Charleston."
He claims the school and its agents "exercised poor, negligent and reckless judgment" preferring and admitting scholarship athletes with "past violent criminal behavior." He says he also suffered a broken hand in the attack.
He demands punitive damages.
He is represented by Henry Wood III.