Football players’ victim speaks out after arrests

When Samuel Jurgens woke up on a sidewalk outside of Paty Hall shortly before 1 a.m. Monday morning, he thought he was dreaming. His face was numb, his headphones lay nearby, bloodied and broken, and he didn’t recognize where he was. His backpack, containing clothes, books and his Apple Macbook Pro, was gone.

Jurgens struggled to get up, fading in and out of consciousness, and stumbled toward Blount Hall, where he had spent the night hanging out with friends.

On his way across the parking lot between Paty and Blount, he placed a call to his friend, fellow sophomore Chris Burks.

“I apparently called Chris while in that state,” Jurgens said in an interview with The Crimson White Tuesday night. “I don’t have a recollection of that, but I told him something. Something bad has happened to me, I remember thinking before I faded out again.”

Burks, who had spent the evening with Jurgens, said Jurgens called him about 20 minutes after they had parted for the night. He sounded delirious, Burks said, and repeated “I don’t know what happened, I need your help,” multiple times. Burks and another friend, Anna Richardson, hurried to meet Jurgens at the front door of the dorm.

“His left side of his face was gigantic,” Burks said. “The jacket he was wearing and his headphones were completely drenched in blood, the bottom half of his face was completely covered in blood; he was bleeding badly from his lip. He had clearly been badly beaten.”

Friends helped clean Jurgens up and called UAPD, who made a report and escorted him to DCH. To save Jurgens the costly ambulance fee, Burks drove his friend to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with a mild concussion and received stitches to close up his busted bottom lip.

Three UA students and football players were arrested early Tuesday morning in connection with Jurgens’ attack and another student robbery that occurred just an hour later. Each man was booked on two counts of second-degree robbery.

According to arrest records, Tyler Hayes and Eddie Williams admitted to robbing Jurgens near Paty Hall, and Dennis Pettway “aided and perpetrated” the robbery.

Hayes also admitted to standing by moments later along with Pettway while Williams assaulted UA student Caleb Paul in the MIB parking lot on campus.

Williams admitted he struck and knocked both men unconscious. Arrest records do not indicate whether Pettway admitted to the crimes.

The Attack

Jurgens still cannot recall specifics from the attack itself, but remembers the moments leading up to it. Walking from Blount toward his home on Hackberry Lane, he was listening to music when he heard someone ask him a question.

As he pulled his headphones off his ears, Jurgens saw someone approach from his left and ask if he had a lighter.

Jurgens replied that he didn’t and replaced his headphones before hearing the man ask again. He replied the same and turned to walk away.

“That’s when I guess something happened,” he said. “I woke up, my face was swollen, I had cuts, and I had a concussion. Police say that’s probably when they hit me; I just know right after that I lost consciousness and I regained consciousness on the sidewalk, staring at the sky.”

Jurgens said he doesn’t remember being suspicious about the exchange before the attack.

“He just was very nonchalant and asked for a light,” Jurgens said.

Burks said Jurgens initially had difficulty making sense of his situation.

“He didn’t know what was going on. He couldn’t tell us what happened when we first sat him down,” Burks said. “We had been playing a game in my room about 15 minutes before it happened, and he was saying he thought that was days ago. He couldn’t remember anything.”

Richardson said Jurgens’ headphones were completely shattered on the left side, the same side of his face that was swollen and lacerated.

“We thought it must have been an object [that broke the headphones], but when we got a look at the guys who were arrested, it could have very well been their fists; they were huge,” Richardson said.

Though Jurgens said the attack was an “eye-opening experience,” and his body is still recovering, he returned to class Tuesday.

“This was just a matter of chance. I’m still gonna love Alabama football. I just want to deal with this case, move on with my life,” Jurgens said. “I just want to get on with my education. I want to continue being happy here. I was happy here before, and I will continue being happy here.”

Caleb Paul, the second student attacked by the players Monday morning, said Tuesday night that he was feeling well and had returned to classes.

According to a University spokeswoman, UAPD did not send out a campus alert to students in the 24 hours between the muggings and the arrests because the University normally sends out alerts in situations where students need to take immediate action.

UAPD did, however, post an advisory on police.ua.edu after the incident.

The Charges

Williams, Hayes and Pettway face less serious charges than the maximum allowed by Alabama law, according to the Code of Alabama Section 13A-8-41 and 13A-8-42, the statutes dealing with burglary.

Alabama law holds that causing “serious physical injury to another” during a robbery is grounds for a first-degree robbery charge. Robbery in the first degree is a Class A Felony.

According to arrest records, Williams knocked both men unconscious in the respective attacks.

Though Jurgens was released from the hospital several hours after his attack, he considers his injuries quite severe.

“They [his injuries] were shocking; they’re something I’m still recovering from,” he said. “From what I’ve been told by the police of what they did to me, it could be much worse. I don’t have any hernia in my eyes, which my doctor was concerned about. Considering how athletic and strong they are, it could be a lot worse.”

When asked if he believed his attackers used excessive force during the assault, Jurgens said he “definitely thinks so.”

“The police report doesn’t say that they just punched me and robbed me,” he said. “They punched me, they kicked me in my back, in my ribs. I would definitely classify it as excessive.”

According to additional arrest records, Williams was charged with the “Fraudulent Use of a Debit/Credit Card” along with fellow UA football player Brent Calloway, after both men used a stolen ACT card to purchase a snack from the vending machine on the first floor of Bryant Hall. Williams admitted to stealing the card from his previous robbery, and Calloway admitted to using the card with knowledge it had been stolen.

Williams was released from jail on a $65,000 bond, Hayes and Pettway were released on a $60,000 bond and Calloway was released on a $5,000 bond, a Tuscaloosa Police Department spokesman said. Jail records indicate they were arrested around midnight and released between 3 and 5 a.m. Tuesday morning. Officers at the Tuscaloosa County Jail said they could not provide information regarding the release of the four men or who paid each of their bail. Sgt. Jeff Judd referred questions Tuesday night to the Sheriff’s Office public information officer, who was not available.

Jurgens said he has never met his attackers before and wasn’t sure if they attacked him with specific intent to rob him.

“It’s almost like they were doing it for fun, because it seemed weird that they didn’t rob me of my wallet or phone or keys,” he said. “But, I just know they sure did an efficient job because I can’t recall parts of it even today.”

Chandler Wright, Will Tucker, Stephen Dethrage and Marquavius Burnett contributed to this report. 

Editor’s note: The Crimson White encourages civil discussion in the space below. Comments may be flagged as inappropriate by anyone in the community; comments that are flagged as inappropriate will be moderated by CW staff. Please utilize this function if you feel a fellow commenter has used uncivil language.

  • chicrooney@gmail.com

    I hope the NCAA is headed to town to clean up this toxic football factory

  • c.dub.ya

    There is no way that any of them will spend one day in jail. They have only been charged with class 2 robbery,a misdemeanor. They will apply for youthful offender status,get probation,then go play for another school.

    • Lt. Nikolai Rachenko

      You are right about that. Other schools will do whatever they can to fish these guys in. Thankfully ample recruiting means Bama won’t try anything to absolve or keep them. I’m just hopeful that even if they were our star players, they would also be permanently gone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/terence.sommer Terence Sommer

    Hopefully they will be removed from ever playing football again and to be made of as examples!

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.blackburnkearns David Blackburn-Kearns

    Betrayal of trust, of the University, of Saban, Of their team mates and worst of all their fellow students…basest form of human life…It is incredible they were not expelled immediately they admitted their role in this disgusting mess….

  • http://www.facebook.com/charles.martel.3597 Charles Martel

    If it was a simple robbery, why did the men get beaten so badly? Why want the media ask this question. Black men fear white men, so they seek to destroy what they fear. How many sensitivity classes did these thugs receive teaching them to further loath the white man? Maybe there is a lawsuit that can be pursued. Will the college hold a candle light vigil with classes on crime prevention?

    • World_War_Me

      Thank you! I am sick of candlight vigils.

  • Kayteigh Ray

    I see now that the word “thug” is used only against black ppl. I have never heard a white person being called a thug no matter what act of violence that they have committed. “thug” is the new way to say the n word.

    • YeaBoy

      Well you are just full of your PC crap, aren’t you? Just what the h3ll would you call them? Your knowledge base is obviously severely limited to your own pc neighborHOOD. I don’t think anyone has suggested that there are no white thugs. Of course there are! But, this discussion is about 4 black guys, whether you like that or not. And for you to act as if there is a bias demonstrated by anyone here by using the word thug, get over it. If you only knew as much as you think you do, it would be hard for you to not recognize the absurdity of your remarks here. You have very little if any evenly based background of knowledge. Your own background of angry self-perceived victimhood betrays you. You are so defensive of the black perspective that you are totally closed to reality. According to Merriam, a thug is: “a brutal ruffian or assassin : gangster, tough.” So, that sounds pretty descriptive of the perps of reference here, does it not? So, again, what would you call them? How would you describe their thuggish actions? Oh wait! Let me guess…victims of the white somethin somethin. Am I right? huh? It is ain’t It ?! Before you think what you will think of this, let me point out that I know what you will think. And, while you think that what you say is correct and justified, what you say is really not so correct and is not as justified as what I have said here to you. Get it?
      The alleged actions of the alleged perps were brutal acts of ruffians, otherwise known as thugs. Their actions in no way should reflect adversely on their team or their school, only on themselves and those who they have associated with or admired who have engrained in them such reckless disregard for the rights and feelings, etc. of others. In this case the victims were apparently white; the perps, black..Fact! While there is no plausible reason for defamation of the team or school, there is valid reason for criticism of the perps themselves and for the socio-mentality that prompted them to stoop to such despicable blatant and quite likely racially motivated criminal acts. Such acts are documented as increasing in numbers nationwide as they are attributed to blacks attacking whites, for no other reason than because they are there, and they are white. (On a per capita basis, B on W crimes are many many times more prevalent than W on B. Check it out.) I can only suggest that if you want to actually portray the correctness that you try to dish out, that you should check yourself, and with real true and unbiased introspection, you would see the error of your ways and perhaps become truly as magnanimous as you would have others believe you to be, but not by always being hyper-critical of white people, but rather by placing blame and criticism where it is appropriate that they be placed. By doing that, you might truly make a positive impact on society. But not the way you are going! RTR!

      • Kayteigh Ray

        What are you talking about? You can’t tell me what I have heard! And in which way I have heard the word thug used! I have never denied that the accused are black or that what they did was wrong and that it was a crime! I have said that they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I don’t care what you say “I have only heard the word “thug” used in respect to people of the black persuasion , so no matter what you say or how much you type that will not change how I have heard the word “thug” used. Now when I hear a person refer to a Caucasian referred to as a thug then and only then will my view change! So your tirade was irrelevant and totally unwarranted ! Save that speech for your twitter biography or start a blog on word press.

        • http://www.facebook.com/jstnsltr Justin Salter

          Will you please shut up about Adam Lanza and James Holmes? Do you use that argument in EVERY reply? I think I’ve read about 10 so far where you’ve mentioned them. No they were not ‘thugs’. They were sociopaths. They were insane. They were psychotic. Do you feel better now that I have acknowledged that they were crazy? You sound like one of those bot programs that just spams people with the same content over and over and over again. The football players were thugs. They attacked someone because they knew that he had no idea what was going on due to him wearing headphones. The fact that they ruined a golden life opportunity for a couple of snacks out of a vending machine speaks volumes about their intelligence. How did they get accepted into UA anyway…

          • Kayteigh Ray

            Since their violence is explained away as “insane” . Lets just say that those boys suffer for “Antisocial personality disorder”. Insanity comes in many forms! Adam attacked women and small children because the were easy targets. James Holmes attacked in a dark theater because people were distracted by the movie and sitting in total darkness and he perceived them to be easy targets. So these crimes took premeditation! So what is the difference in those boys attacking because the victim was distracted and wearing headphones and James & Adam attacking while the victims (God bless their souls) when they were not expecting it .The only diffence is that those boys didn’t take any lives whether it was only a coincidence or it was done by design that i can not say but thank god no one was killed.Since when do you have to be crazy to kill! They killed and seriously injured innocent people and now the murders responsibility is being minimized by you and others that didnt personally experience a loss! Come talk to me when an evil monster kills someone that you love! That monster being classified as “insane” does not make them any less dead! They killed innocent men ,women, and children and they are evil! I will not negate their responsibility in their deaths! One of the innocent children that was killed by Adam was a distant relative of mine if he were still alive I would want him to be punished! But eternity in hell will be his punishment! And Hell doesn’t have a psych ward! So I am not buying that “insane” mess! She is dead because of him and his desire to kill!

          • RammerJammin

            You do know what a sociopath is, right? It means they aren’t capable of feeling remorse, love, guilt, etc

            “And Hell doesn’t have a psych ward! So I am not buying that “insane” mess!”
            Are you insinuating that there are so such mental conditions? Have you been to hell? Do you know anyone who has? How do you know there is no psych ward? Did God tell you? His desire to kill doesn’t make him any less of a sociopath.

            You’re a moron. Take your babble somewhere else.

        • YeaBoy

          You just should look in your mirror and try to be
          realistic in your evaluations and not so biased against anything you perceive as negative a white person might say about a black person even when the black person has acted like a thug, and thus deserved it. Get it?
          You’ve criticized me for using “hood”, a black culture word. And you’ve criticized others for using the word “thugs” which also, if you would care to check it out, has apparently become somewhat of a term of idolatry for young black culture. If you would like an example of
          a “caucasion” person being referred to as a “thug”, then check this out. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpSdlGI0JhI ). There’s a “white thug” for you!
          So, if black people can use all those words in their venacular, (they’ve even used the reference in titles to books about this sort of black character like this one: “Thugs And The Women Who Love Them”) you can have no legitimate grievance when a non-black person might use some of the very same words.

          “Thug” however, is a word that has long been used
          to describe thousands if not millions of “ruffians” if you will, over the course of all of time and not until the current black culture has glorified the behavior of certain black youths by calling them “ganstas” and/or “thugs” has the reference become so often used. The black culture has adopted the behavior and they along with the rest of society have simply seen fit to refer to them in such a correctly discriptive manner. Sort of like “Calling a spade a spade”, if you know what I mean. (again, no offense intended.) Just don’t be so racially
          biased, that’s all. Love ya girl! ;)

    • maxonepercent

      Because black people are significantly more likely to commit crime than any other ethnic group.

  • Kayteigh Ray

    More than 6,000 hate crimes were reported to U.S. law enforcement agencies in 2011 — a 6% decrease from 2010, the FBI said Monday. But crimes based on the victim’s sexual orientation increased slightly.

    Nearly half of the 6,222 hate crimes reported in 2011 were racially motivated, the FBI said, with nearly three-fourths directed at African Americans. More than 16% were motivated by anti-white bias.

    About 59% of the known offenders for all reported hate crimes were white, and 21% were black, the agency said.

    The Anti-Defamation League, which monitors and seeks to combat bigotry, welcomed the overall decrease in hate crimes but highlighted those motivated by sexual orientation.

    “The increase in the number of reported hate crimes directed against gays and lesbians, now the second most frequent category of crime, is especially disturbing,” the ADL said in a statement.

    • World_War_Me

      The numbers seem high for whites, that’s because the FBI groups hispanics as “white”.

    • maxonepercent

      This very article exposes the major flaw in your statistics: are these thugs, who deliberately attacked innocent white victims, being charged with a “hate crime”? No, It is very rare for black perpetrators to actually be charged with hate crimes, even when they state that race was a motivation for their crime! This is because in many states hate crime laws only apply to victims of a “protected class”. In other words, it is not possible to commit a hate crime against a white male because we are not a “disadvantaged” minority group.

    • evianalmighty

      The white hate crimes were almost all verbal.
      Real stats are 6% of the population commits 53% OF ALL MURDERS AND 70% OF ALL VIOLENT CRIME. THE 6% IS OF COURSE BLACK MEN.

  • K7

    It’s simple – this isn’t an indicator of the character of any student or football team regardless of if they play at UA, AU or anywhere else. I’m so sorry for what this young man went through. No one deserves that. Heal fast my friend.

    These guys messed up their lives everyone gets a second chance – let them pay the penalty (face it – most likely probation, restitution anger mgt, etc) , go to a JC and fight their way back to a division one school if they want it badly enough.

  • BamaDale01

    I believe the charges against Williams, Hayes & Pettway should be upgraded to Robbery in the First Degree, as well as Criminal Assault and/or Aggravated Assault. In addition, Williams & Calloway should be charged with Theft by Deception and Wire Fraud for the unauthorized use of the stolen student charge card, and Calloway should also be charged with Receiving Stolen Property. All four should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

  • Kayteigh Ray

    How did Obama get drug into this? He has nothing to do with this mess! He is not marching for injustices against blacks, he is not speaking out about the black struggle ,so why is he being brought up? Was Bush brought up every time a white college student committed a crime ? The only reason that Obama was named is because he is black! So I guess all the white politicians will help to clear Adam Lanza’s name.

    • YeaBoy

      No Deary! I’m sure he was “brought up” is simply bc if he had a son, he would look like those guys. That’s all!

      • Kayteigh Ray

        So whatever deary, Any black man that had a child with a black woman would have a child(ren) that would look similar to them. So why not name Jayz or Denzel Washington or any black male in the world ?! Anyway why does it matter what his imaginary sons might look like? That is totally irrelevant and has absolutely nothing to do with the robbery & assault that those 4 UA athletes committed! Anyway Obamas imaginary son could take after Obama’s mom an look Caucasian. Truth is neither you nor anyone else knows what his nonexistent son would look like. So if you are white your sons will look just like Adam Lanza and every time that his name is brought up then everyone can compare your son to him.

        • YeaBoy

          Well golly, how can I explain this to you? You
          see, its sarcasm, Kayteigh… S-A-R-C-A-S-M. I wasn’t suggesting that they all look alike, or anything like that. Surely as intellectually gifted as
          you obviously are, you should understand that it was a fitting sarcasm playing on the just as inappropriate reference (knee-jerk reaction) the potus made as he further injected race into the Trayvon Martin shooting tragedy after which all the J. Jacksons and Al Not-so-Sharptons had to go show their butts and try to further the racial tumult that was outrageously demonstrated surrounding that unfortunate event. That’s all that was, sarcasm.
          But, you seem to have a too quick trigger finger when it comes to anything that may seem to you to be even hinting of anti-black here. That’s all! Deal wifit! :) And, just so you’ll know, no offense intended here. Love ya girl! Oh, and by the way, you really shoiuld stop trying to reference Adam Lanza or any other razing lunatic here. It just doesn’t belong in this conversation. OK? Thanks!

      • YeaBoy

        Well golly, how can I explain this to you? You
        see, its sarcasm, Kayteigh… S-A-R-C-A-S-M. Surely as intellectually gifted as
        you obviously are, you should understand that it was a fitting sarcasm playing on
        the just as inappropriate reference (knee-jerk reaction) the potus made as he
        further injected race into the Trayvon Martin shooting tragedy after which all
        the J. Jacksons and Al Not-so-Sharptons had to go show their butts and try to
        further the racial tumult that was outrageously demonstrated surrounding that
        unfortunate event. That’s all that was, sarcasm.
        But, you seem to have a too quick trigger finger when it comes to anything that
        may seem to you to be even hinting of anti-black here. That’s all! Deal wifit! :) And,
        just so you’ll know, no offense intended here. Love ya girl! ;)

    • maxonepercent

      Because he idiotically inserted himself into the debate about these kinds of crimes when he waded into the George Zimmerman self-defense case.

  • http://www.facebook.com/james.jordan.12532364 James Jordan

    you left out the fourth choice (4) GO DIRECTLY TO JAIL, DO NOT PASS GO, DO NOT COLLECT ‘SHIT”

  • CM

    Whether they are football players or not they should do time for what they did, just like anyone else would who wasn’t a football player. End of story. It has nothing to do with race or athletics ability or who the crap is president; it has to so with four people who assaulted and robbed someone else with excessive force, for what reason, who knows, but they should be dealt with accordingly. Now I personally would prefer them suspended from school, which they have been, barred from campus, which they have been, loss of scholarships and such and not eligible to go to another school due to said offenses, just like any other student would be, and of course jail time, which would be on their record. It would happen to anyone else therefore they should not be treated special just b/c they are football players or talented. But that’s just my opinion.

    • maxonepercent

      Unfortunately, none of those things will happen. They are black athletes and above the law. They will get some slap-on-the-wrist punishment in court and be back on the football field next spring, guaranteed.

  • emmetjunk@hotmail.com

    they should serve jail time. our young people have not been taught in the home right and wrong.

  • Kayteigh Raye

    The crimes that were committed against “Samuel Jurgens” & “Caleb Paul” were disgusting and the perpetrators should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But the crime that they committed has nothing to do with the black race as a whole, President Obama or Nick Saban.

    • YeaBoy

      Well now! I agree with you here, Kateigh! As Martin Luther King so famously stated “I have a dream of the day when…they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but rather, by the content of their character.” (or something like that.) Right? But, the problem here arose when these guys demonstrated the thugish character of hooligans and/or ruffians! Not a good way to act! But, its on them and the culture of influences that caused them to act like that, not The University, the football team, or the coach. I agree!

  • Sally Richardson

    Before this is all over and the REC get to parent’s of these victims, the parent will say will say their son deserved the vicious attack, and will yell Roll Tide when leaving the court room. Just the Bama way of life.

  • Bippy11

    Punks are Punks. This is not a race issue………..Get with it people………..PLEASE

  • Gentle1

    We (Alabama) should NOT be allowed to play in a Bowl game and we should be
    stripped of our ranking. These students should be expelled, never
    allowed to play on any college team and yes they should get 1 year+ in
    prison. I am embarrassed out of my mind. You know this is going to be part of every commentary on the team for our few remaining games. It is disgraceful beyond words. University administration should do the righteous and ethical and set an example. How bout dat?