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Gargano pleads not guilty

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Charley Gargano

Charley Gargano

Charley Gargano, men’s lacrosse player and a junior in the College of Education, pled not guilty to a substantial battery charge in court Tuesday, resulting from an incident Sept. 15. Gargano is also suspended indefinitely from all athletic activities.

Gargano is charged with substantial battery with intent to cause bodily harm, after he allegedly assaulted a Department of Public Safety officer Sept. 15. The charge carries up to a $10,000 fine and a prison sentence of up to three and a half years.

Gargano’s lawyer, John Schiro, of the firm Schiro & Zarzynski, asked Judge Dennis P. Moroney for additional time before trial in court Tuesday.

“We are still awaiting some discovery,” Schiro said to the judge. “I sent an email to counsel about something and I’m hoping to get a response. I was hoping the court would give us about 30 days and then we’ll have a better sense about where we’re headed once we have the balance of the discovery.”

Judge Dennis P. Moroney granted the extra time and a new court date was set for Oct. 30. All terms and conditions of Gargano’s bail still apply.

Schiro denied to comment on what he hopes to find out before the next court date.

“That’s something the prosecutor and I are discussing,” he said.

After the hearing Sept. 30, Schiro said Gargano’s actions were out of character.

“He comes from a wonderful family,” he said. “He has never been in jail before.”

Schiro also said Gargano is no longer living on campus. Gargano is also no longer listed as a player on the official men’s lacrosse roster on gomarquette.com.

Brian Dorrington, senior director of university communication, said “Charley Gargano has been suspended indefinitely from all athletic and team activities pending the outcome of the university process. When a student is accused of violating university policy, a student conduct process is initiated. If a student is found responsible for violating the university’s conduct policy, disciplinary action will be taken. Results can range from positive action or a warning to suspension or expulsion.”

A statement from the university last month said, “Marquette takes any allegation and act of misconduct seriously and expects all of our students to uphold Marquette’s values. In a situation where a student violates university policy, a student conduct process is intitiated. In serious cases involving student-athletes, the student will not be allowed to participate in athletic and team activities indefinitely, pending the outcome of the university process.”

According to the criminal complaint filed for the case, Gargano is accused of striking DPS officer Annette Demeuse after she arrived to assist another officer, Valerie Gunderman, who found Gargano and two other students in a verbal altercation.

Capt. Russell Shaw, interim director of DPS, said Gargano was acting “very erratic.” After Gargano complied to the officers’ orders to get on the ground, he got up and charged at Demeuse, striking her and knocking her backwards into a concrete planter. Multiple Milwaukee Police Department squad cars, fire trucks and an ambulance arrived at the scene. Both DPS officers received medical attention, while Demeuse sustained a nasal fracture and broken orbital bone in her face. Demeuse also received eight stitches above her left eye.

Before the incident, Gargano reportedly attended a concert at The Rave, 2401 W. Wisconsin Ave. According to the criminal complaint, Gargano said he “voluntarily ingested the hallucinogen, lysergic acid diethylamide on four separate occasions,” while at the concert. Gargano told investigators he had “little recollection of what occurred after that point, and has no memory of committing a battery.”

The criminal complaint stated that because of Gargano’s intoxicated state, the Milwaukee Fire Department needed to sedate him after DPS attemped to subdue him with pepper spray. According to the complaint, Gargano fled the scene and was apprehended by a public safety officer in the median on Wisconsin Avenue between Johnston Hall and Carpenter Tower.

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