Davis Claims Motorist Threatened Him

FAYETTEVILLE — The bizarre events that led to Arkansas backup linebacker Wendel Davis getting arrested for punching a man's car following a minor traffic accident became a bit clearer Wednesday.

Davis told university police that the individual who rear-ended his scooter Tuesday afternoon had sent him threatening text messages in the days leading up to the incident.

Davis also claimed in a University of Arkansas police report that Onyebuchi Odunukwe, 20, approached him outside of Reynolds Razorback Stadium less than two hours before they got into the traffic accident on Maple Street.

The two men fought until they were separated by Arkansas athletic officials, according to the report released Wednesday afternoon. Davis said the threats began after he kissed Odunukwe's girlfriend early Saturday morning.

Davis, 20, was arrested Tuesday night and booked into the Washington County Jail on a felony charge of first-degree criminal mischief. The charge was classified a felony because the junior caused an estimated $3,000 worth of damage when he kicked and punched Odunukwe's Nissan Altima.

Police have charged Odunukwe with felony aggravated assault for intentionally hitting Davis' scooter with his car at the intersection of Maple Street and Garland Avenue. He was also charged with making terrorist threats when he sent the text messages to Davis.

"Mr. Davis stated that he feared for his life and he jumped off his scooter to approach (Odunukwe's vehicle)," the police report said. "Mr. Davis stated that Mr. Odunukwe tried to run him over and he began to punch and kick Mr. Odunukwe's car."

Davis was taken to Washington Regional Medical Center on Tuesday for treatment for injuries suffered to his right hand during the incident. But the extent of the injury is uncertain.

Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said Wednesday evening that he didn't think Davis' hand injury is "real severe." But Petrino refused to give details when asked if the linebacker had broken his hand.

"I don't think it's a real severe injury. It's an injury," Petrino said after playing golf at the Pro-Am at Pinnacle Country Club. "It's something that should not have happened. We all take a hit when something like that happens."

Davis is the fifth Arkansas player to be arrested since Petrino was hired Dec. 11, and he's the second linebacker to get into trouble with the law this week. Sophomore Freddy Burton was arrested Sunday on misdemeanor charges of driving while intoxicated and careless driving.

Petrino said he wasn't sure how he'll punish the two linebackers for their off-field troubles.

"We'll let things play out for a little while. Certainly, they'll be dealt with," Petrino said. "Hopefully we can get everything straightened out the right way, and whether there's a suspension involved yet or not, I don't know. We'll have to wait and see."

Attempts to reach Odunukwe were unsuccessful. He did not respond to an e-mail sent to his Arkansas student account.

Odunukwe is listed on Arkansas' campus directory as a staff member in the school's Intramural Recreational Sports department, but a woman in the department said Wednesday that Odunukwe hasn't worked there for months.



MORNING NEWS SPORTS WRITER ROBBIE NEISWANGER ALSO CONTRIBUTED TO THIS REPORT

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