California college basketball player punches cop outside South Florida bar, police say
A Division 1 college basketball player went toe to toe with a South Florida police officer outside a bar packed with spring breakers Wednesday, authorities said. The ensuing fight landed the California ball player in jail.
De’Sean Leighton Eikens, 22, is facing charges of battery on an officer, resisting an officer without violence, resisting an officer with violence, disorderly conduct for brawling, disturbing the peace and disturbing a public place while being intoxicated. He has already bonded out of jail.
Eikens plays on the California State University Northridge men’s basketball team as a guard, according to ESPN. The Cal State Northridge Matadors are a Division 1 team in the NCAA.
On Wednesday, Fort Lauderdale Police Officer Joseph Perez saw Eikens fighting with security staff at the Rock Bar, 219 Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., an arrest report read.
Body cam video shows Eikens being thrown to the ground by security and Perez stepping in to pick him up and escort him outside.
While Perez pushes him out, Eikens can be heard saying “Don’t touch me,” and a brawl ensues.
The officer wrote in the report that Eikens “unexpectedly punched” his hands and then punched his face two times. Perez then punched Eikens in the face before bringing him to the ground, a sequence captured by body cam footage and recorded by Perez in Eikens’ arrest report.
“The defendant was observed to be intoxicated and under the influence of an unknown substance,” Perez wrote.
As the officer waited for back-up to arrest him, Eikens told him several times “I can’t breathe.” Someone out of view responded, “If you can talk, you can breathe.”
While still on the ground Eikens was also heard arguing with someone who said he was hit by the basketball player.
Police took Eikens to Broward Health Medical Center, where he was medically cleared, and then taken to the Broward jail.
“The defendant placed my safety at risk and caused a crowd of people to surround me as I was taking the defendant into custody,” Perez wrote.