Student arrested in assault of girlfriend




A former Penn football player was arrested early Tuesday morning and charged with assaulting his girlfriend, who is nine months pregnant, according to the Philadelphia Police Department.

Wharton junior Dondi Darby was arrested at 12:30 a.m. Tuesday at 30 S. 40th St. and was taken to the Southwest Detectives Division of the Philadelphia Police, according to Sgt. Verdel Johnson.

Philadelphia Detective Lou Green, who is leading the investigation, said that the two had a minor dispute, but that the woman -- who Green said described herself as unemployed and not a Penn student -- did have some visible injuries. Green would not elaborate on where the injuries occurred.

The baby was not injured in the incident, and the woman did not seek hospitalization.

Darby "had a little dispute" with his girlfriend, Green said. "He grabbed her by the neck or something like that, but there were no serious injuries."

According to the woman's statement given to Green at the time of the incident, it was Darby himself who alerted the police.

Darby was arraigned sometime over the last two days and charged with simple assault and reckless endangerment of another person, Johnson said.

"These are misdemeanors, so his trial date won't be for 60 days," Johnson said.

Darby, who was released from police custody yesterday around 1 p.m., could not be reached for comment.

Since the arrest was made by the Philadelphia Police, Penn officials were unable to comment on the situation.

"There's nothing I can say about it at this point," University spokeswoman Lori Doyle said.

Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush could not be reached for comment, but a Penn detective said he was aware that the arrest had occurred.

Penn Athletic Department spokesman Rich Schepis was not aware of the incident, but noted that Darby was no longer a member of the Penn football team.

"He's no longer on the football roster. ... He left the team on his own accord," Schepis said.

The former defensive back received a varsity letter for the Quakers in the 2003 season, but he left the team after eight games for personal reasons, according to Schepis.

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