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CSUN Weighing Beauregard Case : Colleges: Spokesman says shooting incident still 'under administrative review.'

October 04, 1994|CHIP JOHNSON and STEVE ELLING | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

NORTHRIDGE — Cal State Northridge on Monday took no immediate action against a football player charged with attempted murder in the shooting of two outside a San Bernardino bar in August.

Jonathan Beauregard, 22, of San Bernardino, was arrested by police on Aug. 29, a few hours after a shooting incident at the Arrowhead Elks' bar, authorities said.

Northridge coaches and administrators said they had no knowledge of the incident, which occurred on the first day of school, until last weekend.

Beauregard, a senior and two-year starter at offensive right guard for the Matadors, was taken into custody near his mother's home in San Bernardino, police said.

The victims were identified as Dunyella Darshell Smith, described by authorities as Beauregard's ex-girlfriend, and Von E. Thompson, a security guard who was sitting in his truck with Smith at the time of the incident, authorities said. Smith was shot once in the hip as she tried to flee. Thompson was hit once in the arm, and a second shot aimed at his chest was stopped by a bulletproof vest, authorities said.

Beauregard could not be reached for comment Monday.

Beauregard has not been suspended from the team. School spokesman Barry Smith said Monday that school administrators had not confirmed with police that he had been arrested, adding that the incident was still "under administrative review."

Ronald Kopita, vice president for student affairs, said university officials will closely watch the case as it proceeds through the courts, but that it could be a violation of Beauregard's civil rights to take action against him based only on an accusation, not a conviction.

"The feeling is still that he's been accused and hasn't had his day in court," Athletic Director Bob Hiegert said.

Kopita added however that there are standards of "expected behavior" for athletes representing the university, and said he plans to discuss the issue with Bob Burt, the Matadors' coach.

"All the teams have codes of behavior and I suspect there will be discussion within the football team regarding this individual," Kopita said, never mentioning Beauregard by name. "The team may decide as a group what should take place."

Hiegert said a meeting with Northridge administrators has been scheduled Wednesday to discuss the matter.

If Beauregard chooses to remain on the squad, the school could be forced to decide whether he can stay, Hiegert said, adding: "I don't know what we'd do then."

Burt told the team about the arrest before practice Monday. Most of the players were unaware of the incident, and Burt described himself as in shock.

"The guy has been a stand-up member of the program," Burt said, his voice cracking. "He's done all the right things. He was a good student and he was well-liked.

"This has taken us all back a step. We don't know him in this way at all."

Sophomore defensive back James Woods was one of several players who hadn't heard the news about Beauregard until Monday's team meeting.

"It was disbelief," Woods said. "Coach Burt sat us down and said he and Beau and the family were going to handle it, and for us to try to move ahead."

Beauregard was originally booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, but when charges were filed against him on Sept. 2, they included two special circumstances--using a handgun and inflicting great bodily injury--which could add eight years to any prison sentence imposed, said San Bernardino County Deputy District Atty. Denise Trager.

Court documents also contained a notation that read, "ex-girlfriend has been victim of (2) assaults by him in past." There were no descriptions of either alleged incident.

School officials said Beauregard asked for and was given permission to skip practice Monday "to attend to personal matters."

A year ago this week, Beauregard walked off a team bus as it left campus for a game against Las Vegas. In a highly charged moment, Beauregard decided to join a teammate and a group of students picketing to protest what they said was the school's insufficient financial support for athletes.

However, Beauregard changed his mind later that day and flew to Las Vegas at his own expense to rejoin the team.

In a game against Southwest Texas State last month, Beauregard was penalized for a personal foul, reacted angrily and complained vehemently to officials.

After he was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct, Beauregard hurled his helmet to the ground, was given another penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct and thrown out of the game.

Replacing Beauregard after the ejection was reserve lineman Eric Thomas, who as a bystander was shot in the back during a holdup at a fast-food outlet in South-Central Los Angeles on July 14, 1989. Should Beauregard leave the team, Thomas would be his likely replacement.

Beauregard, who was senior class president at San Bernardino's Cajon High in 1989-90, started all four games at right guard for the Matadors this season.

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