CU track athletes suspended from team

Siblings await hearing for charges of burglary and assault
April 10, 2010
By Cassandra Smith

Brothers Quinton Dodson and Aaron “A.J.” Whitaker were used to wearing matching outfits while competing together for University of Colorado at Boulder’s track and field team.  On April 8th however, their matching outfits switched from black and gold uniforms to orange jumpsuits as they stood somberly in front of a judge, accused of burglary and assault.

The CU students, both 21, were then charged with these crimes on April 12th.  They now await trial; each facing felony charges for first-degree theft and burglary, as well as a misdemeanor for third-degree assault.

Dodson and Whitaker have since been suspended from the track and field team at CU.  They are both brothers of Jeremy Dodson, who holds numerous track and field records at CU and is currently a volunteer assistant for the team’s coaching staff.

Head coach Mark Wetmore released a statement on April 15th stating, “I have suspended Quinton Dodson and A.J. Whitaker indefinitely from all team activities for violations of team and university rules.”  All members of the coaching staff and track team approached about the suspension declined to comment; one teammate of the brothers’ said it was simply too emotional to talk about.

The incident causing this suspension took place around 1:30 a.m. on April 8th when Dodson and Whitaker are accused of coming into the residence of Randall Rea and attempting burglary.  According to the police report, Rea “frantically” waved down Officer Benjamin Graff, who was driving in a patrol car on College Avenue.  Rea then told the officer that he was chasing two men who had just tried to steal his bike.

Graff reported, “Rea stated that he had just sat down in the family room of his apartment when he heard his bedroom door squeak”.  When Rea went to see what caused the noise, “he observed a black male pulling his bicycle out of his bedroom”.

Rea then attempted to wrestle the bike from the male’s hands until the burglar let go and started to run away. Rea tried to tackle him to the ground when, Rea reported, “a second black male appeared out of no where and began to hit him multiple times on the head and face”.

After receiving multiple punches from both males, Rea stated that they ran away.  Graff said, “I observed numerous cuts and scratches on Rea’s arm and head,” and also saw “a large scrape to the ride side of his hip”.  Rea refused medical attention at the time.

Rea told Graff that upon returning to his apartment, he noticed he was missing a Sony Playstation 3, along with the controller, an iPod and iPod Nano, an iPhone 4, a Northface backpack, and approximately $62 in cash from his wallet.

Shortly after Rea came into contact with Graff, another officer in the area found and detained two suspects, Dodson and Whitaker, who matched Rea’s physical description.  Graff brought Rea to the suspects, where Rea identified them as the same two males that assaulted him.

The police report states that when Rea saw one of the suspects he said, “That’s the guy who was grabbing my bike.  I am 100% positive of that!”   The officers then searched the suspects who were found to be carrying some of the items Rea reported missing.  Dodson and Whitaker were then arrested and taken to Boulder County Jail.

At the bond hearing for the case on April 8th, bail bonds for both Dodson and Whitaker were set at $10,000, and the judge issued a protection order preventing them from having any contact with Rea.  During the hearing, the district attorney also stated that last year Whitaker  “hosted a party that ended in a gang related offense.”

The preliminary trial hearings will begin June 2nd.

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