Charges against KU fan dropped

The city prosecutor did not say why she dismissed the case.
Friday, December 2, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 6:44 a.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

City Prosecutor Rose Wibbenmeyer deferred prosecution against one of the University of Kansas students involved in an altercation last spring at an MU men’s basketball game, effectively dismissing the case.

KU alumnus Andrew Wymore was charged with trespassing following a confrontation with MU Police Chief Jack Watring at the March 6 MU-KU game. Wymore, 25, tried to purchase another ticket after being ejected from Mizzou Arena, prompting his arrest.

Paul Aubrey, an administrative support assistant in the city prosecutor’s office, said Wibbenmeyer decided to defer prosecution on the trespassing charge. Gerald Mueller, Wymore’s attorney, said the decision means the case has been dismissed. The prosecutor has the option of refiling the charge later, but Mueller said such a scenario is unlikely.

Wymore said Mueller left a message on his answering machine just over a week ago saying Wibbenmeyer had deferred prosecution. He said he has not spoken to his lawyer since receiving the message.

“I’m looking forward to putting all of this behind us,” Wymore said.

Wymore passed up a plea bargain and pleaded not guilty to the trespassing charge in June. Mueller said the prosecutor’s office did not tell him why it chose to defer prosecution.

“The bottom line is that it was set for trial this month,” Mueller said. “I can only assume that they didn’t want to go to trial.”

In June, Wymore and two friends that he attended the game with, Chris Green and Chris Kaufman, said they were considering filing a lawsuit against MU or Watring. Wymore would not say Thursday whether they were still thinking about taking such action. Kauffman, however, said the friends are no longer focusing on a potential lawsuit.

“We’re just looking to get past it now,” he said.

Wymore was kicked out of the arena after he, Green, Kauffman and another friend clashed with Watring, who was off duty and not in uniform at the game.

Kaufman filed a police report a few days after the game that said he and Watring got into an argument before the game started about a banner Kaufman had brought. The section usher at the arena gave Kaufman and his friends permission to hang the banner over the balcony in front of their seats. Kaufman said Watring tried to tear down the sign, which poked fun at the renaming of Mizzou Arena. It listed several crossed out names above the line “Call it what you want, it’ll always be Allen Fieldhouse East.” Allen Fieldhouse is the name of KU’s basketball arena.

MU spokesman Christian Basi said the university knew about the deferred prosecution but had no further comment.

Watring said the campus police supported the prosecutor’s office.

“It is the police officer’s responsibility to make the arrest, and it is the prosecutor’s responsibility to file the charges and follow through with that,” he said. “We support whatever she does.”

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