Second man charged in assault on football player

Second man charged in assault on football player
Maurice Dion Peterson III and Kirby Taylor Hawkins

Rob Beard
Out of the hospital

Maurice Dion Peterson III
Arraigned on second degree assault charge

EUGENE, Ore. -- Police arrested a second man in connection with an assault that put a University of Oregon football player in the hospital last weekend.

Kirby Taylor Hawkins, 19, of Portland, Ore., was arrested on suspicion of second degree assault, police said Thursday. The charges stem from an attack that knocked kicker Rob Beard unconscious and sent him to the hospital early last Sunday morning.

On Wednesday night, police said they had arrested Maurice Dion Peterson III on a charge of second degree assault for the attack on Beard. At the time, police said more arrests were possible.

Beard is out of the hospital. He was initially in the intensive care unit at Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend, where he underwent facial reconstruction surgery Monday. He has since been discharged.

Peterson was arraigned Thursday on the assault charge. His next court appearance is next Thursday.

Peterson was on the roster of the 2009-09 Lane Community College basketball team. Police said he was a student there, which LCC confirmed.

Earlier this week, Melinda Kletzok, a Eugene police spokeswoman, said the 19-year-old Beard was trying to break up a fight between his friend, fellow UO kicker Mike Bowlin, and several other people. Beard fell to the ground.

Kletzok said someone continued to kick Beard and he was left unconscious. Beard was transported to RiverBend Medical Center early Sunday morning. 

On Monday, his mother Leslie Beard called the attack "horrific" but said her son was getting better.  By Monday afternoon he was awake and could walk, talk and read, although he was still in pain.

Dan Straub lived nearby and told KVAL News he saw the attack from his balcony.

"I saw him getting hit in the back of the head, just coldcocked right from behind when he wasn't looking," Straub said.

Straub describes what he saw for KVAL News:

A prior version of this story incorrectly spelled the suspect's name as Maurice Dijon Peterson III.  His correct name is Maurice Dion Peterson III.