Disorderly conduct charges against Winthrop University basketball players Reggie Middleton and Gideon Gamble have been dismissed, the Rock Hill solicitor’s office said Monday.
Middleton and Gamble were arrested Oct. 21 after a late-night fight in the McDonald’s across from campus.
Rock Hill Police used stun guns on both players in an effort to break up the altercation.
City solicitor Paula Knox Brown said interviews with a number of witnesses supported the players’ claim that they had come to the defense of two women who were being harassed by another customer.
“Every indication we have is that the Winthrop basketball players were trying to keep a man from becoming aggressive with the young ladies,” Brown said. “That’s why we made the decision to not pursue the charges.”
Middleton and Gamble had been scheduled to appear in court Tuesday. Rock Hill attorney Reggie Lloyd, who has been representing the players in the case, said they appreciate the decision to drop the charges.
“These young men deserved this,” said Lloyd, a Winthrop graduate and former State Law Enforcement Division director. “We’re very appreciative of (the solicitor’s) office’s work to verify our account.
“It’s easier sometimes to charge people than not charge them, and the fact they had the courage to dismiss this case is something we appreciate.”
The incident happened at 2:45 a.m., just hours before Middleton and Gamble were scheduled to practice that day.
Both are expected to graduate from Winthrop this week. Middleton’s basketball career is over, while Gamble has a redshirt year of eligibility remaining and intends to return to play next season.
Last month, Middleton pleaded guilty to a marijuana possession charge. He was expected to enter a program that could result in the charges being dismissed and expunged from his record.