Posted by Jerry Hinnen
It's one thing for a television station to report that witnesses have idenitified Jordan Jefferson as the person who kicked a man in the head during a parking lot bar fight. It's another thing for the official police report to confirm that witnesses have told their officers the same thing.
But that's the case for Jefferson and LSU, as CBSSports.com RapidReporter Glenn Guilbeau reports. Per the Baton Rouge police report of the incident outside Shady's bar, a female witness has told BRPD she "knows for certain that she observed Jordan Jefferson kick in the face" a man identified as Andrew Lowery. According to the witness, Lowery intervened when -- as he has also told police himself -- several LSU players pulled another victim from a black pickup truck and began to beat him.
According to the accounts of both Lowery and the witness, several of those players -- including Jefferson and reserve linebacker Josh Johns -- then attacked Lowery, leading to Jefferson's kick to Lowery's face. The witness also told police she could identify other LSU players present if offered photos to choose from.
Though BRPD has not yet confirmed it, it now seems obvious why officers confiscated 49 pairs of Jefferson's shoes in a Wednesday visit to his apartment; a DNA match between blood on those shoes and Lowery's (or another victim's) would, hypothetically, help confirm the accounts of both Lowery and the witness. According to a source sepaking to the Times-Picayune, police may also be attempting to match Jefferson's footprint to one found on a shirt of one victim.
At this point, it's still far too early to assume any guilt on Jefferson's (or any LSU player's) part. It's still too early to even assume an arrest is forthcoming, given that some witnesses' accounts have differed wildly from the ones offered by Lowery and the witness in question above.
This story from the Baton Rouge Advocate also won't help Lowery's credibility. It reports that -- in a remarkable twist -- his girlfriend has filed a "petition for protection from abuse" stating that earlier that same night, Lowery has tracked her to a bar, "cursed and yelled at her," and struck one of her friends.
It remains worth notingm however, that police spokesman Donald Stone has stated repeatedly he expects charges to be filed once the investigation is complete. What it's not too early to assume is that police have an eyewitness account that could put Jefferson in jeopardy of serious assault charges, and that they're making an effort to corroborate that account.
It's not an exaggeration to say LSU's season could hang in the balance of whether they find that corroboration or not.