May 23, 2006

Indiana WR Hardy arrested on battery charge

FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Indiana University's top wide receiver from last season faces battery charges in what authorities said was an attack on his girlfriend and their infant son.

James Hardy appeared in Allen Superior Court Monday on misdemeanor counts of domestic battery and interference with the reporting of a crime after being arrested Friday and spending the weekend in jail. He was released Monday on $1,500 bond.

The 6-foot-7, 215-pound Hardy was Indiana's leading receiver last season with 61 catches for 893 yards and 10 touchdowns as a redshirt freshman and was named second team all-Big Ten.

Hardy, a 2004 graduate of Elmhurst High School in Fort Wayne, declined to comment to The Journal Gazette. The Associated Press could not determine a current home number to contact him.

A message seeking comment was left for Indiana football coach Terry Hoeppner.

Police officers responding to a 911 call Friday evening reported finding Hardy's girlfriend sitting in the grass across the street from her home crying. Her shirt was torn and she had reddish marks on the back of her neck, court documents said.

Hardy at first told officers that he and his girlfriend of seven years did not have a physical confrontation, but later said he pushed her when she ``got into his face,'' police said. Court documents also say Hardy struck the infant.

The charges are each punishable by up to one year in jail. He is scheduled to make his next court appearance on June 5.

As a condition of his bond, Hardy cannot have contact with his girlfriend.

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