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COC student charged with misdemeanor battery

Sheriff’s report says suspect punched linebacker in nose

Posted: March 16, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: March 16, 2014 2:00 a.m.

A 20-year-old College of the Canyons student is facing a misdemeanor battery charge following a skirmish on campus that left college football player Joey Cicoria with a bloody nose, according to college, law enforcement and district attorney sources.

Keith Thomas of Canyon Country is scheduled to be arraigned on a single misdemeanor charge of battery April 10 in the Santa Clarita Courthouse Dept. 3, said Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station arrested Thomas on suspicion of battery Feb. 10, according to a report filed by the deputy who responded to an assault allegation at the college’s Valencia campus.

Cicoria, a graduate of Hart High School and linebacker on the COC’s Cougar football team, was named MVP of the Southern California Bowl in 2012.

The deputy’s report said Thomas entered a room where the football team and coaches had just finished a meeting and began “screaming and cursing at the players, telling them he was there to take their positions.”

The coaches told Thomas to leave, but he continued insulting the players and then “punched Cicoria on the nose, causing him to bleed.”

The deputy said he talked to Thomas inside his patrol car.

“The suspect stated he was being discriminated (against) because of his race,” the deputy wrote. Thomas is African-American.


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