Kealaluhi hoping to clear recor



    BYU football star K. O. Kealaluhi could face a $1,500 fine and six months in jail for an altercation which took place Jan. 27 at Dixon Middle School in Provo.

    Kealaluhi was charged with a class A misdemeanor and assault 1 charges for head-butting and punching 33-year-old Greg Hampton during a city-league basketball game.

    According to a police report, Hampton suffered cuts to the bridge of his nose and lower lip. Six stitches were required to the wound on his nose.

    An arraignment date has been set for April 3, but Kealaluhi said he hopes his lawyer can get the charges dropped before it gets that far.

    “I can press charges and will if I have to, but a fight is a fight, things happen, and I am not that kind of person,” Kealaluhi said.

    The fight arose after Kealaluhi threw the ball out of frustration.

    “He grabbed me, I grabbed him, he tried to hit me and tried to throw me to the ground, so to get him away I head-butted him. He went back, and I hit him once to make sure he stayed away. When he did I just walked away,” Kealaluhi said. “He rushed me, and that’s how it happened.”

    If Hampton pursues pressing charges, Kealaluhi said he will counter with his own witnesses.

    “I have witnesses that saw him rush me first. I have a witness that claims he heard him tell the police, ‘yes I grabbed K. O. because I thought he was going to hit me,'” Kealaluhi said. “Regardless if he thought I was going to hit him or not, he can’t touch me.”

    Kealaluhi said his actions were immature, but said there was nothing else he could have done except defend himself.

    “Unfortunately he (Hampton) got hurt, and I didn’t mean to,” Kealaluhi said. “I did what I had to do and was justified in my actions.”

    Kealaluhi said the press treated him unfairly and damage is done whether the charges are dropped or not.

    “There are two sides to everything in life, and obviously they didn’t take the time to listen,” Kealaluhi said. “It was self-defense, but no one else knows that. Everyone thinks I am a Polynesian guy who likes to fight and get into trouble. That’s just not how I am. In people’s minds, the way they publicized this I look bad and made the school look bad, and my rep is ruined.”

    Kealaluhi and his attorney said they have a strong case and will take it all the way if they have to.

    “I am not worried. I was at first, but I talked to my lawyer and I am not worried anymore,” Kealaluhi said. “The only thing that hurts me is the fact that I am a free agent, and it could effect the NFL’s attitude about me.

    “I feel bad because this school did a lot for me, and I respect the people and everything about it,” Kealaluhi said. “I just want people around here and fans to know that I am sorry, I apologize as any kind of rep for the school.”

    Having used up his eligibility, Kealaluhi plans to complete his college studies at San Diego State in the fall.

    “There is nothing like BYU fans, and I would hate to leave the university and the state of Utah on a bad note. I hope people can understand and wait till the outcome before they start judging me,” Kealaluhi said. “I hope people will listen to both sides and then judge me.”

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