University of Maryland basketball player Chris McCray was arrested in College Park early Sunday after refusing to leave the scene of a fight and initially fleeing from the police, Prince George's County police said yesterday.
McCray, who will be a senior this season, was charged with misdemeanor counts of disturbing the public peace, resisting arrest and escaping from custody, said Cpl. Diane Richardson, a police spokeswoman.
Following a bond review yesterday at Prince George's District Court, McCray, 21, was released on his own recognizance after spending Sunday night in jail. McCray, who appeared via closed-circuit television, is scheduled for a hearing in district court on Nov. 21, the day Maryland opens play against Gonzaga in the three-day Maui Invitational in Hawaii.
Maryland issued a statement that said athletic officials will await the outcome of the judicial process before "making a determination on the case in accordance with the university's student-athlete code of conduct. No other comment will be forthcoming from athletics department personnel regarding this issue, pending the final outcome of the situation."
McCray, who is represented by attorney Gary Neal, could not be reached for comment. When a reporter introduced himself to a woman who answered the phone at what is believed to be McCray's home, she said, "Ain't nothing happened," before hanging up the telephone.
Neal was reluctant to comment until he received a copy of the police report but characterized McCray as "extremely contrite and embarrassed" and said 20 to 30 family members and friends of McCray attended the hearing.
According to Richardson, officers described an altercation between two groups of individuals, involving at least 15 people, in the 4300 block of Knox Road. Richardson added that police gave the groups "several chances" to leave.
"Mr. McCray was told to leave the area and he refused," Richardson said. "He walked back to the group and was told he was under arrest."
At one point during the disturbance, an officer used a type of pepper spray called "OC spray" on McCray's face, according to police documents. When police attempted to place him in handcuffs, McCray pulled away and fled about 150 feet across Knox Road before he was arrested at 3 a.m., Richardson said.
"It's not characteristic of the way he conducts himself," Neal said of McCray. "Ninety-nine point nine percent of the time Chris would have walked away, but something very inflammatory was said to him" by one or more individuals.
Maryland teammates voted McCray a co-captain last season. McCray, a Capitol Heights native, averaged 14.1 points, second-best on the team, and 4.3 rebounds last season. The guard was widely viewed as the team's most consistent player.
Researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.