Two University of Maryland football players and two other students were arrested last week after police chased two burglary suspects on foot, drawing a crowd of more than 600 people, police said.
Sgt. Mark A. Wright, a Prince George's County police spokesman, said two officers saw two men breaking a display window about 2 a.m. Friday at the Terrapin Clothespin, a College Park sports clothing store at 7408 Baltimore Blvd.
After a short chase, officers arrested Michael Eric Thomas, 19, of Philadelphia, a defensive back on the football team, and Ron Howard Barshook, 21, of Silver Spring. Both were charged with breaking and entering, Wright said.
Police said patrons leaving a handful of area bars began gathering to watch the arrest. Within minutes, police said, a crowd of between 600 to 800 had assembled.
According to police, one officer was hit in the back of the head with a blunt object by an unknown assailant. The unindentified officer was treated at Prince George's Hospital Center in Cheverly and released.
Two officers were involved initially, but as many as 30 were called to the scene.
Police arrested Scott Michael Rosen, 19, also of Philadelphia, a defensive back on the Terrapin football squad, and charged him with failure to obey a lawful order by police. Shari Lafray Brown, 19, of Upper Marlboro, was charged with disorderly conduct, hindering police and assault and battery after she allegedly tossed a drink at a policeman.
Terrapin Clothespin owner Ron Frush said yesterday that a three-foot-by-eight-foot display window, nearly a quarter-inch thick, was broken and the contents were looted.
Thomas and Rosen are freshmen playing on the team as "red shirts." Both of the players are on full football scholarships that are scheduled to be renewed annually.
Maryland Athletic Director Lew Perkins said the university will "look and see what happened before taking any action. We will give the kids every opportunity to exhaust all the legal avenues and then discuss it with them."
Staff writer Dave Sell contributed to this report.