Six Notre Dame football players arrested in two separate incidents

ND Insider Staff Report
ND Insider

Six Notre Dame football players were arrested between Friday night and Saturday morning — five after a traffic stop in Fulton County and another after an altercation at a South Bend bar near campus.

Five of the players — linebacker Te'Von Coney, safety Max Redfield, wide receiver Kevin Stepherson Jr., cornerback Ashton White and running back Dexter Williams — were arrested on suspicion of possession of marijuana after an Indiana State Police trooper made a traffic stop in Fulton County in Northern Indiana just after 10 p.m. Friday.

Redfield, Stepherson and Williams also each face a charge of possession of a handgun without a license, according to a news release. All five players in Fulton County posted bond and were released between noon and 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, per the jail — Redfield, Stepherson and Williams on $500 bond each, Coney and White on $300 bonds.

The sixth player, cornerback Devin Butler, was arrested outside the Linebacker bar in South Bend and booked into the St. Joseph County Jail on preliminary charges of resisting law enforcement and battery on a police officer, according to police.

According to court documents., formal charges have not been filed.  Instead, the state advised the court that it needs more time to gather additional information and evaluate the case in order to determine whether formal charges are appropriate, which was granted. 

That deadline is now Wednesday.

Probable cause was found. Butler was released on $1,000 cash bond Saturday afternoon, per jail records. 

Head coach Brian Kelly was not immediately available for comment and was not expected to release a statement on Saturday. In similar cases in the past, Kelly has gathered information and talked to the individuals involved before issuing a formal announcement. 

In the Fulton County incident, a state trooper pulled over a Ford Focus carrying the five players for a traffic stop shortly after 10 p.m., according to police. The car was traveling 73 miles per hour in a 60 mph zone, and had an improper taillight, according to state police.

During a search of the car, including a police dog, troopers found marijuana and a loaded handgun, according to police.

All five were arrested on a misdemeanor charge for possession of marijuana. Redfield, Stepherson Jr., and Williams face an additional charge for possession of a handgun without a license.

In the South Bend incident, police responded to the Linebacker, 1631 South Bend Ave., just after midnight for a report of a fight between some patrons and bar security. After officers broke up that fight, they went outside and saw several women fighting near the curb. 

As police separated the women, Butler, who appeared to be "extremely irate," walked toward one of the women and shoved her, said South Bend police Lt. Joseph Galea. When police ordered Butler to step back, he allegedly lunged at an officer, shoved him and started throwing punches. 

After a brief scuffle, police were able to subdue Butler — using a Taser — and handcuff him, Galea said. None of the preliminary charges were related to Butler shoving the woman, because the women left the scene before he was arrested. 

The officer was taken to a hospital to be evaluated for minor injuries, including a sore wrist.

Click the PDF below to read Butler's full Affidavit.

Redfield, a senior, is Notre Dame’s projected starter at free safety for the team’s season opener Sept. 4 at Texas.

He had finally appeared to turn the corner on a positive note on the field following a turbulent career that included being suspended from the Fiesta Bowl Jan. 1 for being late to meetings.

Sophomore Williams is a part of ND’s projected three-man running back rotation. Freshman Kevin Stepherson, an early enrollee, was a spring sensation. And while he is not a projected starter, Stepherson is an important cog in ND’s young wide receiver corps.

Coney, a sophomore, had been competing for a starting berth at weakside linebacker, though junior Greer Martini had recently surged ahead in that race. White, a sophomore, is not in the Irish two-deeps at cornerback.

Butler was not expected to play until at least October after suffering the recurrence of a broken foot in June. The senior does have starting experience but was expected to compete for a backup position when he returned.

The players will not only have to answer to legal charges but to Notre Dame's disciplinary arm as well.

Notre Dame on Friday had completed the grueling training camp portion of preseason practice, with Kelly giving the players the weekend off before resuming workouts on Monday.

The fall semester of classes at ND begins Tuesday.

The Irish are ranked No. 9 in the preseason coaches poll, with the preseason AP poll due out Sunday at 10 a.m. EDT.

Notre Dame football players (clockwise from top left) Ashton White, Dexter Williams, Kevin Stepherson, Devin Butler, Te'von Coney and Max Redfield. (Photos provided)
Notre Dame head football coach Brian Kelly has his hands full after six Irish football players were arrested overnight on various charges in two separate incidents. (Tribune Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN)