Temple football players Dion Dawkins and Haason Reddick may avoid the courtroom if the District Attorney’s Office accepts their request for entrance into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program.
Dawkins, a junior offensive lineman, and Reddick, a redshirt-junior defensive lineman, are facing charges of aggravated assault, conspiracy, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person after an incident on Jan. 18 at Club 1800 in Northern Liberties.
Prosecutors claim Dawkins and Reddick attacked Benjamin Wood, a fellow Temple student. Wood suffered a broken orbital bone and a concussion.
Wood testified at the preliminary hearing in April that he attempted to break up a fight between Reddick and his friend, Delonte Stancil. Wood said he was thrown to the ground and kicked in the eye. Then, Wood said Dawkins punched him more than 10 times.
“This was a beatdown,” Assistant District Attorney Jason Grenell told Judge Joyce Eubanks at the preliminary hearing. “The complainant was trying to help someone … [the fight] caused permanent damage, he’s got double vision. … Two people were stomping on Mr. Wood, and they’re sitting here in this courtroom today.”
Attorney James Funt, who represented Dawkins, said at the hearing that his client was a “peacemaker” that night.
Judge Joyce Eubanks dismissed most of the charges against the two in in April, but the charges were refiled by the District Attorney’s office in June. Dawkins and Reddick are still active members of the football team, and played in Saturday’s season opener against Penn State.
Now, the cases against Dawkins and Reddick are being continued for ARD consideration.
The ARD program is for first-time offenders, and it allows them to avoid a trial and expunge their records after a probationary period and sometimes community service. It is a “diversionary program,” Cameron Kline, a spokesman for the Philadelphia County District Attorney’s Office said.
Those who are accepted to the ARD program do not have to admit guilt to the charges against them; however, they are not cleared of guilt either.
Attorney Max Kramer, who is representing Reddick, said the admission of his client into the ARD program, which typically is reserved for DUI cases, is “kind of a long shot.”
Kramer, who added that he’s not sure whether he will continue to represent Reddick, explained that the ARD program is “the best path anybody can take,” and for most a safer option than arguing the case in court.
“There’s always a risk,” he said. “And once you’re convicted, you have a record for life.”
Jack Tomczuk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JackTomczuk.