Notre Dame defensive back Devin Butler was arrested and charged with felony battery outside of a South Bend bar last weekend. Police claim that Butler was involved in a fight outside of the bar, and tackled an officer to the ground when they attempted to break up the fight. Now Butler’s girlfriend Haleigh Bailey and Selina Bell, the fiancée of fellow Notre Dame player Torii Hunter Jr.—both eyewitnesses to the incident—are claiming that the cops’ narrative is false.
According to court documents, Butler inserted himself into a fight between two women and shoved one woman “by her head and body,” causing her to move “approximately 3 to 4 feet.” In an interview with the South Bend Tribune, Bell says that never happened:
“I don’t know who they’re trying to reference him hitting or pushing, because he didn’t do that to anyone. But he was holding his girlfriend and protecting her,” Bell said in a phone interview on Wednesday night. “He 100 percent never hit her, pulled her, pushed her, grabbed her forcefully at all.”
The court documents go on to say that Butler began cussing at cops who attempted to break up the fight, and became physically violent with officer Aaron Knepper. The court documents claim that Butler “pushed Officer Knepper off balance, picked him up over a curb tackled Officer Knepper to the ground.” The documents go on to say that Butler punched Knepper in the side and stomach several times while they were on the ground.
Both Bell and Bailey told the Tribune that Butler did no such thing:
“Devin has been in a boot/cast and on crutches recovering for the past 8 weeks,” Bailey wrote. “He is in no condition to be lifting weights, working out, or doing any ‘tackling.’ I have not seen him run let alone walk on two feet since the day before his surgery in June. I can assure you he did NOT tackle a police officer but police officers tackled HIM.”
“That 100 percent did not happen,” Bell said of the accusation that Butler tackled Officer Knepper. “Devin didn’t even have the capability to pick someone up if he wanted to. He just got off of crutches the day
Butler was suspended indefinitely by Notre Dame following his arrest. The Tribune notes that Knepper has been involved in controversial incidents in the past, including one in which he illegally entered a home and tasered a 17-year-old he had mistaken for the teen’s older brother.