URBANA — An Illinois football player arrested over the weekend pleaded innocent on Thursday to battery and resisting a peace officer.
Kenneth Knight, 18, who listed an address in the 400 block of East Chalmers Street, Champaign, pleaded innocent to misdemeanor battery for allegedly punching a man in the head and misdemeanor resisting a peace officer for running from a Champaign police officer when Knight was being taken into custody.
According to Champaign police spokeswoman Rene Dunn, police were patrolling the area of Third and Green street at about 11:55 p.m. Saturday when they discovered a fight taking place on the sidewalk.
According to the police report, a witness saw a 41-year-old Chicago man talking with another person when Knight allegedly struck the Chicago man with a closed fist, knocking him to the ground.
Police said the Chicago man had minor injuries but did not require medical attention at the time the report was written.
When police arrived at the scene, an officer saw blood coming out of Knight's mouth.
The officer told Knight to stand by and wait while he interviewed other people. Knight and a second person, Jordan Frysinger, 19, who listed an address in the 100 block of East Gregory Drive, C., took off running, police said.
Frysinger was caught and given a city notice to appear for resisting arrest, Dunn said.
When a second police officer caught Knight, the two men were pulled off-balance and fell to the ground, struggling with one another until another officer arrived to help handcuff Knight.
Knight was treated at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana before he was taken to the Champaign County Jail. Knight was later released on his own recognizance.
Judge Tom Difanis set Knight's next court appearance for Dec. 22.
Frysinger and Knight are both redshirt freshmen wide receivers on the Illinois football team.