News from the Tennessee Valley Sports

UAB mum on status of 5 basketball players arrested

BIRMINGHAM (AP) — Five UAB basketball players — about one-third of the Blazers' team — are free on bond after being arrested at a dance club where police said they began fighting and arguing among themselves, leading to a confrontation with officers.

Neither the school nor coach Mike Davis has said whether disciplinary action would result against the players, all newcomers to the squad.

"We are aware of the situation and will handle the matter internally and appropriately," Davis said in a statement.

The UAB athletic department had no immediate comment Tuesday.

The incident started inside Club Red about 1:30 a.m. Friday when players began arguing and fighting among themselves, said police Sgt. Paul Irwin. Off-duty officers working at the club called for backup, and several police cars were dispatched, he said.

"It was out of hand," Irwin said.

The arguing and yelling eventually spilled outside the club where the players refused to cooperate with police, Irwin said.

"There were several other basketball players there who were tying to calm their teammates as well," he said.

The players continued to be loud and were even screaming profanities, Irwin said. Police arrested the players who continued yelling at both police and people on the street.

Edward Berrios, 23, of the Bronx, N.Y.; Keenan Ellis, 18, of Indianapolis; Walter Sharpe, 21, of Birmingham; Channing Toney, 21, of Snellville, Ga.; and Robert Vaden, 22, of Indianapolis, were all booked into the Birmingham City Jail between 2:45 and 3:30 a.m. Friday.

A city jail log showed Toney facing the most serious charge of physically harassing a police officer. Authorities charged Berrios with physical harassment and disorderly conduct, and Ellis, Sharpe and Vaden all were charged with disorderly conduct.

All the players were freed on bond, but Sharpe was picked up by police from Hoover, where authorities had a warrant accusing him of failing to appear on another case. Hoover police did not immediately return a message seeking details on that case.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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