A Gophers football player was swiftly dismissed from the team last week after University of Minnesota officials learned he was charged with assaulting a police officer.
Maxwell Timothy Janes, 18, is facing felony charges in connection with the Feb. 8 episode, where Minneapolis police reportedly found him attempting to break into a post office near 1st Street S. and Hennepin Avenue around 12:40 a.m. Authorities say Janes appeared to be intoxicated and became violent, punching an officer in the face.
Paul Rovnak, a Gophers assistant athletic director, said Janes was kicked off the team immediately following news of his arrest.
Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck issued a statement Friday, calling the behavior "completely unacceptable."
"We have extremely high standards for members of our team and when those standards are not met there are consequences," Fleck said. "Law enforcement officers speak to our team and educate them multiple times a year, and we greatly appreciate those who protect and serve us on a daily basis."
According to the criminal complaint: Officers were dispatched to a welfare check on reports of an individual improperly dressed for the cold weather loitering outside the post office. They located Janes just as he gained unlawful entry into the building's loading dock. Officers placed Janes in their squad car, but opened the rear door after he informed them that he needed to vomit.
Instead, Janes got out and punched an officer — causing demonstrable bodily harm, the complaint says. He was eventually restrained and booked at Hennepin County jail, where he was charged with fourth-degree assault of a peace officer and obstructing the legal process.
Janes, of Arden Hills, was released Monday after posting $20,000 bail.
His attorney, Ryan Pacyga, tweeted Friday night that his client was "deeply apologetic and is on the way to making amends for his conduct towards the officer." When reached by phone, Pacyga told the Star Tribune that Janes' actions were inconsistent with an otherwise trouble-free background.
"So one night of bad choices led to this. It's one of those where you wake up the next morning, and you wish it was a dream," Pacyga said. "He has the utmost respect for the police. He wants to make amends with the officer and the community."
Janes graduated from Mounds View High School last year. A 6-foot-3, 230-pound tight end, he joined the Gophers in the fall as a preferred walk-on, playing in all 13 games on special teams. He is the nephew of former Gophers kicker Dan Nystrom.