Football Player Suspended After Incident At Adult ClubBryan Thomas is the city news editor. Contact him at [email protected]
Thursday, October 12, 2006
A Cal football player is suspended indefinitely from the team pending an investigation of reports that he was involved in a physical confrontation and verbal abuse at a San Francisco adult club early Sunday, Cal Athletics said yesterday.
UC Berkeley senior and linebacker Chris Purtz, 21, went early Sunday morning with a friend to the Lusty Lady adult club, where employees said he shoved a worker and used racist and homophobic slurs.
Club employees described Purtz as intoxicated and said he identified himself as a Cal football player.
At the club, Purtz entered a video pornography booth while his friend, who identified himself as Purtz’s agent, demanded prostitutes for the two men, according to Dee Timmons, an employee at Lusty Lady who said he let the men into the club.
Purtz does not have an agent, said Cal Athletics spokesperson John Sudsbury.
Timmons said Purtz and his friend started calling him “nigger” and “faggot.” Two other club employees corroborated this account with The Daily Californian.
Purtz said that he did not use slurs or solicit prostitutes, and also said there was no physical confrontation. He confirmed he was at the club and said he returned on Tuesday to clear up the facts of the event with employees.
Coach Jeff Tedford suspended Purtz from all team activities for violation of team rules, Sudsbury said.
“We’re still evaluating the situation,” Sudsbury said. “(It is Tedford’s) decision on if and when he comes back.”
Club employees did not call police, saying they do not typically do so unless someone causes damage to the facility or refuses to leave. The San Francisco Police Department said they had not been contacted about the situation.
Cal Athletics started to investigate the event after club employee Tristan Heydt sent an e-mail describing the events to Athletic Director Sandy Barbour and the Daily Cal.
“After seeing that e-mail, it’s completely inaccurate,” Purtz said. “He tried to portray me as someone who’s racist, I’m not. Tried to portray me as someone who’s egotistical, I’m not.”
Club employees said they had to forcibly remove Purtz from the building.
Security camera footage viewed by the Daily Cal shows Purtz being pulled out of the building by an employee shortly after entering the club. It then shows Purtz banging on the door and yelling at the employees inside for several minutes. At one point Purtz appears to shove his friend. There was no sound on the video.
Purtz said he regrets going to the club but said the employees have overblown the story in retaliation.
“I would really hope that if anybody felt that there’s any truth to this man’s claims that they’d talk to me before they believe any of it,” Purtz said. “I’m willing to talk to anybody about this nonsense.”
Sudsbury said Cal Athletics is still investigating the events and has contacted employees at Lusty Lady.
Nate Tabak of The Daily Californian contributed to this report.
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