UPDATE: Missouri basketball player Zach Price arrested for second time in same day

Thursday, April 3, 2014 | 9:35 p.m. CDT; updated 10:14 p.m. CDT, Thursday, April 3, 2014

*This story has been updated to include a second arrest.

COLUMBIA — Missouri basketball player Zach Price was arrested twice in 13 hours on Thursday, the Columbia Police Department said.

Price is accused of punching a male roommate in the face and pushing a female companion to the ground in the area of Heather Lane and Ash Street early Thursday. On Wednesday, police said, the same victims were in their vehicle when they were intentionally rammed at least twice by Price, who was in his vehicle in the area of Bethel Church Road and Route K.

About 3 p.m. Thursday, officers arrested Price on suspicion of second-degree domestic assault and second-degree assault, both Class C felonies, in connection with the vehicle incident Wednesday. Price was arrested at his residence in the 3000 block of Troyer Drive, according to a news release from Columbia police.

The victims, a 23-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman, called 911 and met officers at the Police Department to make a report about the vehicle incident. Officers also contacted several witnesses who were in the area at the time of the incident. The officers were still investigating the incident at the end of their shift Wednesday, according to the release.

Missouri coach Frank Haith announced in a news release Thursday morning that Price was suspended from the basketball program. A Missouri basketball spokesman confirmed Thursday night that Price remained suspended following the second arrest.

At 1:17 a.m. Thursday, officers were dispatched to the area of Stadium Boulevard for a disturbance call, where Price was involved in a fight with the man and woman. According to a probable-cause statement from Columbia police, Price and the man had an ongoing dispute.

According to the probable-cause statement, Price, 20, followed the victims in his vehicle; blocked the other vehicle with his own, preventing the man from leaving the area; then confronted him and punched him in the face. The woman tried to intervene, and Price pushed her to the ground, the statement said.

The man and woman received minor injuries, according to the statement.

Bond in the first arrest was set at $1,500. Both charges are class C misdemeanors. Bond in the second arrest was set at $9,000.

Haith addressed the recent slew of arrests while meeting with reporters Thursday afternoon, before Price’s second arrest.

“Zach right now is suspended from the team. I’m very disappointed in his actions, and we’re still gathering information,” Haith said. “I’ve been up all night, and we’re still working towards finding out what all went on, and I can tell you that we’re not real happy and we will discipline accordingly.

“It’s not the Mizzou way. It’s not how Frank Haith, from a leadership standpoint, wants our program to be portrayed, and as the leader of this program, I take full responsibility. We got to fix it.”

Price, a transfer from Louisville, sat out this season due to NCAA transfer rules. The 6-foot-10 forward from Cleveland played 205 minutes in two seasons at Louisville but is expected to contribute in the frontcourt next season for the Tigers, whose top two players each declared for the NBA draft this week.

Price joins freshmen Wes Clark and Shane Rector, who were arrested on suspicion of marijuana possession on March 15, on the growing list of Tigers with recent run-ins with the law.

Forward Tony Criswell missed the team's final four games of the season because of a legal issue as well, his stemming from unpaid rent bills.

Joseph Trezza contributed to this article.

Supervising editors are Wade Livingston and Mark Selig.

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Ellis Smith April 4, 2014 | 5:19 a.m.

Res ipsa loquitur.

[This easily passes the Missourian's "obscene, profane or vulgar language" test: it's actually a proper legal term.]

The Missourian has been publishing various statistical data, which are or may be of public interest. Perhaps the Missourian might publish crime statistics allowing a comparison of the MU, UMKC, UMSL and MS&T campuses.

It may well be that one or more of the last three campuses I've listed will show higher incidences of certain crimes than at MU. After all, UMKC and UMSL are located in significant urban areas, which might influence their statistics, and the total number of students at UMKC, UMSL and MS&T isn't just as large as MU's student population, it's actually larger.

Many factors can influence a student's choice of university campus, but safety is certainly one of them.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams April 4, 2014 | 6:36 a.m.

Basketball teams are relatively small, and four players of this team have recently been in trouble with the law. It's a high percentage. Coming on the heels of a coach with NCAA difficulties, it sounds like our basketball team needs some work.

Start again from scratch?

(Report Comment)

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