LARRY LAGE, AP Sports Writer
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Top Tennessee Titans draft pick Taylor Lewan punched an Ohio State fan, despite his insistence that he was trying to break up a dispute last fall, according to his ex-girlfriend and an alleged victim.
Lewan, a former Michigan offensive lineman, was charged with one count of aggravated assault and two counts of assault and battery after a confrontation after the Buckeyes beat the Wolverines last season. The 22-year-old Lewan has said publicly, and to police, that he was breaking up a dispute and wasn’t involved in a fight.
According to a 36-page Ann Arbor police report obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, James Hughes of Denver said Lewan hit him in the face and Alexandra Dileo, whose brother was a teammate of Lewan’s, said “Taylor is lying” about his actions on Dec. 1.
“He knocked the guy to the ground and he punched him,” she told police in a telephone interview Jan. 29, according to the report. She recalled hearing Lewan tell his mother “I knocked a guy out” the next morning while they were having breakfast.
Lewan’s attorney, John Shea, did not immediately return a message left Thursday afternoon.
Lewan, Hughes, Dileo and others interviewed by police acknowledged they had been drinking alcohol on the night in question. Lewan’s motives were “related to the University of Michigan and Ohio State rivalry and to levels of intoxication,” according to the report.
Dileo expressed concerns to police that people would feel she was lying because she and Lewan had broken up, according to the report. But she “stated she knows what happened and Taylor is lying.”
Lewan told police he only was separating people, but later acknowledged he “could have pushed someone.” He gave his side of the story before the NFL draft to many teams, including the Titans.
“I’m happy that they believed me,” he said on a conference call the night he was drafted No. 11 overall. “I’m happy that they believed in my character, the kind of person I am. My job is to not do reckless things off the field. My job is to make sure my quarterback is safe and my running backs are in good positions to gain yards.”
Lewan missed an opportunity to join veterans participating in the team’s offseason program because he made a court appearance last week. The next scheduled hearing in Ann Arbor District Court is June 16.
Lewan is expected to back up both new right tackle Michael Oher and veteran left tackle Michael Roos, but coach Ken Whisenhunt has said Lewan can earn a starting spot.
AP Sports Writer Teresa M. Walker in Nashville, Tennessee, contributed to this report.
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