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Two Portland State Basketball Stars arrested in Cabo San Lucas - Post received from the Oregonian
Less than two weeks removed from the glory of taking Portland State to the NCAA Tournament, two of the basketball team's star players were arrested in Mexico for their alleged roles in a brutal beating that threatened a man's life.


Tuesday night, an attorney for center Scott Morrison and guard Jeremiah Dominguez struck a deal with the victim and the two were released from custody, a source close to the investigation said. Depending on terms of the agreement, they could face further legal action in the United States.

Two sources told The Oregonian that Morrison attacked Kyle Meagher, 23, of Lansing, Mich., early Saturday between two bars, El Squid Roe and The Zoo, in Cabo San Lucas. The attack allegedly occurred hours after Meagher (pronounced MAH-her) turned Morrison and Dominguez away from a VIP room he was overseeing as part of his work with a company called Horizon Tours.

"You couldn't do damage like this with a baseball bat -- it's worse," said Alejandro Rojas, general manager of Balboa World Class Clinic, the hospital where a cabdriver took Meagher afterward. Rojas said that it was unclear what beyond fists may have been used in the attack but that upon arriving, the 6-foot, 170-pound Meagher's lower jaw was broken in several places. He was choking on blood from severe internal bleeding.

Family members said Meagher told them he passed out before hitting the ground and was left bleeding in the street after the attack.

In three-plus hours of surgery, doctors put eight screws and two titanium plates in Meagher's jaw, Rojas said. This afternoon, he was conscious, in stable condition and wanted to go home to Michigan. Rojas said Meagher would be released early Wednesday and allowed to fly home.

"He will need a month to recover and will not be able to chew anything hard, like meat, for a year. For the next month, his food has to be blended."

Dan Meagher said his son is majoring in hospitality management at Lansing (Mich.) Community College and was in Cabo on an internship promoting spring break.

"When they got him into the hospital, they didn't know exactly what they had, because there was so much blood loss and blood all over him," said the father, who works for the Michigan State Police in Grand Rapids.

Meagher's mother, Karen Shurlow, lives in Lansing and said she learned of the attack in an 8 a.m. phone call that opened with this jarring line: "'I'm a Mexican doctor and I've got your son.'"

Striking a deal

Under the Mexican legal system, a prosecutor has 72 hours after receiving the police reports to file charges or the suspects must be released.

In this case, sources said negotiations between a lawyer for the accused and a relative who has flown in to speak for the victim went late into Tuesday night as the 72-hour deadline came and went. The initial bill on Meagher's medical cost is $40,000 and talks on a potential financial settlement focused on covering at least that amount, Shurlow said. According to Rojas, the parties reached an agreement late this evening.

Although devastated by her son's injuries, Shurlow also didn't want to see Morrison and Dominguez sit in a Mexican prison for years.

"I personally don't want to leave those kids in Mexico," she said, explaining she wanted a letter admitting guilt and a chance to pursue a civil suit later for future medical costs. "I don't have any goal for anybody else's parents to have their kids stuck in that country."

An Associated Press reporter went to the police holding area where the two were behind bars. They declined comment.

Center Scott Morrison blocked his face when the reporter tried to photograph him.

They were seated on a cement bench in a cell with five Mexican prisoners and had no apparent wounds on their hands.

Morrison and Domiguez's attorney was not available for comment. But Meagher's mother said both men have repeatedly denied any involvement in the attack.

U.S. and Canadian consulates are involved in the case. Dominguez, 22, went to high school in Salem. Morrison, 22, is a Canadian citizen who grew up in the Vancouver, B.C., area.

The two were arrested Sunday after Meagher identified them in photographs taken when the two went to another bar. Cabo San Lucas police released Morrison and Dominguez after the deal was reached this evening, and they were expected to fly back to the States soon.

Based on his interviews with police, Rojas said Morrison was the aggressor and Dominguez was an accomplice but did not physically attack Meagher.

Two star players

In Portland, university officials initially struggled to grasp what had happened.

"We are surprised and disappointed in the actions and poor judgment our student athletes have shown in this situation," Portland State athletic director Torre Chisholm said in a statement. "Prior to this, (Dominguez and Morrison) conducted themselves in a positive manner within our program. I am disheartened to see them put themselves in such a bad position."

Dominguez and Morrison are two star players on the Vikings team that went 23-10 this season and made the school's first appearance in the NCAA Tournament, where it lost to Kansas in the first round. Dominguez was the Big Sky Conference player of the year.

"It just amazes me that those guys are involved," Vikings coach Ken Bone said from San Antonio, where he's attending events around the Final Four. "I've heard of stories like this before. I'm anxious to find out what exactly took place, but even at this point I'm pretty disappointed."

Dominguez, a 5-foot-6, 150-pound junior point guard, became the second player from PSU to earn the Big Sky's top individual award after leading the Vikings to their second conference regular season championship. Dominguez -- who was the Oregon high school player of the year in 2004 at South Salem and sat out the '06-'07 season after transferring to Portland State from the University of Portland -- also was recognized as the Big Sky's newcomer of the year.

After being honored last month, Dominguez said of his role with the team, "I kind of lead the way, leading by example."

Morrison, a 6-foot-11, 250-pound senior center, was named the Big Sky's defensive player of the year. He also was named to the second team all-conference.

Dominguez's family could not be reached tonight. Morrison's stepfather and mother were in Mexico and could not be reached.

Shurlow, meanwhile, had one overarching thought.

"We just would really like to get our son back in the States and get him looked at by medical professionals here."

Posted: Wednesday, April 2, 2008 8:18 PM by Nick Fong


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