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OK State's Jamie Blatnick Charged with Assaulting Teammate

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By Jason Beahm on August 03, 2010 12:51 PM

College football coaches are fond of aggression, as long as it occurs between the lines. It also goes without saying that arguments and fights with former teammates are off limits. So when the aggression comes off the field, directed at a former teammate, athletic directors cringe and coaches hold awkward press conferences promising to clean things up.

A particularly gruesome and violent event in Stillwater, Oklahoma has drawn considerable media attention. Jamie Blatnick, starting defensive end at Oklahoma State University, is accused of assaulting teammate Stephen Denning after allegedly hitting him in the face with a beer bottle. The Tulsa World has a brutal photo of Denning bleeding from the face. Denning had to be taken to a hospital where he was diagnosed with a fractured orbital socket. He required stitches to his left eye and cheekbone. Blatnick was charged with aggravated counts of felony assault and battery.

After officers arrived on the scene, Denning tried to break free of them and received a citation for misdemeanor assault. Police were forced to taser Denning in order to subdue him, police reported in a press release.

Jamie Blatnick pleaded not guilty to felony assault and battery charges with a deadly weapon in Payne County District Court on Monday. The Tulsa World reports that in Oklahoma, a conviction on those charges can result in incarceration ranging from one year in county jail, to 10 years in prison. Denning pleaded not guilty to charges of obstructing an officer, a misdemeanor.

Assault and battery are often used interchangeably in day to day conversation, but the common law treats them as two separate crimes. Assault is the action of causing someone the fear of imminent harm, (i.e. swinging a fist at someone), whereas battery is the actual infliction of unwanted physical contact, (i.e. hitting someone).

However you word it, no one wins in a bar fight.

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