ASU linebacker charged with assault
by Kellen Moore
According to the Boone Police Department report, officers arrived in the area of Appalachian Street around 3:15 a.m. Sunday in response to an assault in progress.
Two Appalachian State University students, Will Cocker and Andrew McKinnon, were sitting on the curb with faces bloodied, the report states.
Cocker had an injury in the center of his forehead, while McKinnon was bloody and swollen on the right side of his face, according to the report. A small pool of blood was visible in the middle of the street near Ivy Hall, the report states.
Both men were taken to Watauga Medical Center for care.
Meanwhile, witnesses described the assailants and their vehicle, a white Toyota Tundra, which left driving west on Howard Street.
An ASU police officer stopped the vehicle at Katherine Harper Hall with three passengers inside. Two different women visually identified the assailants.
John Rizor II, 21, and Donte Dabney, 23, were each charged with simple physical assault, according to reports. Both were taken before a magistrate and released with written promises to appear in court Sept. 11.
Rizor also received a citation for driving while license revoked, according to ASU Police Capt. Todd Corley. According to court records, Rizor was charged with driving while impaired earlier this year in Avery County and is awaiting trial on that charge.
A third occupant inside the vehicle was not involved in the assault and was not charged, the report states.
According to one of the victims, Rizor, Dabney and the third man were "talking to the girls and would not leave them alone," the report states. Cocker and McKinnon walked down Appalachian Street from Jimmy John's to check on the women when McKinnon was hit first, sending him falling into the street.
A witness said Cocker was then punched in the face and fell to the pavement before being kicked in the stomach by Rizor, the report states.
When confronted by police after the traffic stop, Dabney said they were at the scene when "the two victims waved their arms at them and that was it."
Rizor did not have anything to say about the assault, the report states.
"John Rizor was extremely upset with himself on how he let his family down and that everything he had worked so hard for was gone," the report states.
Rizor and Dabney could not be reached immediately Wednesday for comment.
Rizor, a starting linebacker, was dismissed from the football team for an unspecified "violation of team rules," according to a news release Tuesday. A second player who does not appear to be connected to the assault also was prohibited from playing in all 2012 games on the same day.
Head Coach Jerry Moore said in the news release that the player's actions were "not consistent with what we expect from members of our program. My hope is that this will serve as a learning experience for every player in our program."