A Saturday evening pickup game at the Student Recreation Center ends in Lady Raider basketball star Amber Battle, punched in the face. Texas Tech Athletics has confirmed that freshman cornerback Nigel Bethel II has been dismissed from the program in connection with the incident.
A police report out Monday afternoon names Battle as the victim of an aggravated assault, but not Bethel as the suspect. The incident narrative goes on to read that Battle was struck, "causing serious bodily injury."
Texas Tech Pharmacy School student Eugenio Hernandez was watching the pickup basketball game when the incident went down. He says the punch Battle took to the face was absolutely intentional.
"They were playing, and all of a sudden, one guy was guarding her, they go for a rebound," he explains. "Well, when they came back down, [Battle] got upset, I guess because [Bethel} pushed her, and she kind of pushed him back."
Hernandez watched as the two players continued to get heated.
"Then all of a sudden, I see him get back up," he continues. "And he just straight up punches her with his fist closed. In the face."
Hernandez says that after Battle was hit, another male player in the game attempted to go after Bethel, but others held him back. He also says that watching Battle get hit angered him, even as simply a spectator.
"I almost felt the reaction of going up to him, running up to him and punching him," Hernandez says. "What kind of guy does that, you know? You never punch a girl, you never touch a girl. That's not a real man, you know?"
The Battle/Bethel altercation has taken over social media, with many of those in the discussion agreeing with Tech's decision to dismiss Bethel. Hernandez also feels that the university made the right choice.
"Sometimes, football players are held up higher than every one else, thinking they can get away with stuff," he explains. "But that shouldn't be allowed."
The police report also said that the suspect in the case was "released, pending the filing of charges with the Lubbock County District Attorney's office." But as of Monday afternoon, the D.A.'s office had not filed any criminal charges against Bethel.
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