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Thursday, April 17, 2014

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Cornerback arrested for OWI with BAC of .10



Senior cornerback Chris L. Rucker was arrested early Sunday morning for operating a vehicle while intoxicated and causing property damage with a vehicle.

Head coach Mark Dantonio announced Sunday that Rucker was suspended for the team’s next game Saturday against Illinois for violating team rules.

Rucker was arrested near the 300 block of Grove Street, according to a copy of the ticket, and was released the same day on a $200 bond. The ticket indicates there was a traffic crash, but is not specific on the nature or extent of property damage. Rucker was driving a 2002 Oldsmobile.

At the time of arrest, Rucker had a blood alcohol content, or BAC, level of .10. In Michigan, the legal BAC for drivers more than 21 years old is .08. Rucker turned 22 on Tuesday, according to the birthday on his ticket.

Rucker pleaded guilty to one count of assault and battery in February in relation to a November 2009 altercation in Rather Hall. Rucker and 14 of his teammates allegedly entered the dorm and assaulted students and members of the Iota Phi Theta fraternity. Although MSU football head coach Mark Dantonio initially suspended 15 players total, only 11 players were convicted in connection to the assault.

Rucker was sentenced to one year of probation and 150 hours of community service in March. He still is on probation. One of the terms of Rucker’s probation was that he would not commit any other offense, Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III said.

Dunnings said only a judge can declare that Rucker’s probation has been violated. Rucker could have the probation declared violated through a probation violation hearing, but that course of action is unlikely, Dunnings said.

“He has not broken probation until the judge says he has,” Dunnings said. “Or they could just say ‘You’ve been convicted, no point of probation violation.’”

Dantonio said Rucker will be suspended for at least the next game.

“It’s unfortunate, but life has consequences,” Dantonio said Tuesday at a press conference. “We have to deal with them and move forward.”

Rucker is scheduled to be arraigned on Oct. 20 at East Lansing’s 54-B District Court.

Rucker registered his first interception of the season in Saturday’s 34-17 victory over Michigan, also adding three tackles. On the season, Rucker is tied for second on the team with 40 tackles to go with four pass breakups and a forced fumble.

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