Suspended Nittany Lion Chris Bell has been banned from the football team and campus after police allegations that he threatened a former teammate with a knife Monday night in the Pollock Dining Commons.
"Chris Bell, who had been previously suspended from team activities, is permanently removed from the team and will not be re-considered to be a part of the team in the future," according to a statement released today by the Penn State Athletic Department.
University spokeswoman Lisa Powers said Bell was put on an interim suspension from campus, which prohibits attending classes or being in residence halls, "because of the violent nature of the allegations against him." Bell has five days to request a hearing with Judicial Affairs to dispute the interim suspension, Powers said.
The incident, which yielded no injuries, brought charges of terroristic threats, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, two counts of disorderly conduct and two counts of harassment for Bell, who was arraigned Monday night before Centre County District Judge Daniel Hoffman. He was held Monday night in the Centre County Correctional Facility in lieu of $50,000 straight bail, according to court documents.
Bell voluntarily went to the Penn State Police station Monday night and admitted to displaying the knife, police said, but told officers he pulled the knife out because he feared for his own safety. The dispute involved defensive end Devon Still.
Bell was released from jail Tuesday under supervised bail -- an alternative to posting monetary bail -- that would allow him to be released from prison and require him to meet with a bail supervisor on a regular basis.
The altercation began at about 6:30 p.m. when Bell entered the dining hall and, according to court documents, approached Still with a "long fixed-blade knife" that he pulled from his shirt sleeve.
"Come get the case, and I am going to stab you," Bell said, referring to a cell phone case that Still believed Bell had stolen from him, according to court documents.
"I have more knives and a gun up here," police said Bell shouted at his former teammate as coaches Michael McQueary, Richard Anderson and Kermit Buggs separated the two players, according to court documents.
Unharmed, Still was removed from the area by Samuel Perryman, the Penn State football offensive graduate assistant, police said.
Police said the knife, which was confiscated by Anderson, was a 12-inch Good Cook straight blade cooking knife with an 8-inch blade and a black handle.
Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira said, typically, offenses like Bell's are punished by probation for offenders without a prior criminal record.
According to a February press release from the athletic department, Bell and another player were suspended from the football team until "their academic situation improves and any off-the-field issues are behind them."
Bell has been implicated in court documents as having played a role in an October on-campus fight in the HUB-Robeson Center that police said involved several football players. He is not facing any charges related to the HUB incident.