January 04, 2017

Former Penn State running back charged in alleged bar altercation

Crime Athletes
010416_CurtisEnisPSU Craig Houtz/AP

Curtis Enis (39), Penn State tailback, eludes the tackle of Ohio State tackler Matt LaVarr (48) with Damon Moore (13) of Ohio State at left, as Enis races 26 yards for the winning touchdown in the fourth quarter at State College, Pa. Saturday, Oct. 11, 1997. Penn State remained undefeated in their 31-27 win. Enis raced for 211 yards in the game.

Former Penn State standout Curtis Enis has been charged with simple assault and harassment in connection to an alleged October incident in downtown State College, according to a criminal complaint that surfaced Wednesday.

The one-time All-American running back allegedly punched a man in the face and tackled another to the ground on Oct. 21, one night before the Nittany Lions took down Ohio State in a dramatic comeback victory followed by destructive student riots, StateCollege.com reports.

Authorities say they responded to a report of an assault in a parking lot behind the Lion's Den bar at around 12:30 that Friday morning. The owner of the bar identified Enis to police and said he knew the former football star personally. He was reportedly arrested without incident and claimed he was defending himself from an attack.

One of the alleged victims told police that the altercation started when Enis, 40, walked past him in a line to enter the bar. The man told police Enis said "It's not worth it," and when he asked Enis to repeat himself, he was allegedly punched in the face  Bar staff reportedly attempted and failed to restrain Enis as he fled the scene and approached the second victim, allegedly tackled him and causing a knee injury that would require surgery.

Neither of the victims knew each other or Enis, police said.

Between 1995-1997, Enis racked up 3,256 yards and scored 36 touchdowns for the Nittany Lions. Having established himself as a top prospect, Enis declared for the NFL draft after his junior year and was selected fifth overall by the Chicago Bears. He is considered one of the biggest running back busts of the last 20 years, totaling just 1,497 yards in three NFL seasons as injuries quickly derailed his career.

Enis is charged with two counts each of misdemeanor simple assault and summary harassment. He is due in court for a preliminary hearing on Feb. 1.