Angry about woman, Jovan Belcher punched out window, gashed hand in 2006 UMaine incident

In this Sept. 9, 2012, file photo, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher is shown during an NFL game against the Atlanta Falcons.
David Eulitt | MCT
In this Sept. 9, 2012, file photo, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher is shown during an NFL game against the Atlanta Falcons.
Posted Dec. 03, 2012, at 4:32 p.m.
Last modified Dec. 05, 2012, at 3:39 p.m.

ORONO, Maine — Police reports released Monday by the University of Maine show Jovan Belcher had a history of conflict in dealing with women.

Belcher, 25, made national headlines Saturday when the Kansas City Chiefs linebacker fatally shot his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, then later committed suicide with a handgun in Kansas City.

During his four years as a student at UMaine, Belcher was confronted by police about two on-campus incidents involving a woman. No criminal charges were filed in either incident.

On April 1, 2006, Belcher suffered a serious cut on his hand when the then-freshman punched out a window in a ground-floor door at Androscoggin Hall on the UMaine campus, according to university police Sgt. Scott Curtis, who reported, “I was told that Belcher was upset over a girl.”

Ten months later, Belcher was the subject of a dormitory noise complaint. According to a police report, a student in Gannett Hall called police about the raised voices of Belcher and his girlfriend as they had “a discussion outside his room.”

UMaine officials on Monday released four police reports about Belcher, saying three of them were not found over the weekend because his name was spelled wrong and the wrong birthdate appeared in the incident reports.

One report — a request by Belcher to be let into a building — was found during an inquiry Saturday evening by the Bangor Daily News.

The 2006 window-punching incident resulted in what the police report termed “a possible severed thumb and lacerations to the wrist.”

“There was a lot of blood outside of the west entrance and in the lobby,” Sgt. Curtis wrote in the report.

“I noticed the window to the interior, ground floor door, to the center stairwell, broken out,” he continues.

Belcher was referred to Judicial Affairs and had to pay restitution, which was estimated at $200. Details about any university punishment levied against him are protected by the federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, according to Dr. Robert Dana, UMaine’s vice president for student affairs and dean of students.

“Generally, in a case like that, the person would have an intervention with a staff member about anger management or anything else relevant to the situation,” he said.

“The person’s status could range all the way from a warning all the way up to dismissal,” added Dana, who termed the window-punching incident as “down at the lower end of the spectrum.”

One of Belcher’s former teammates, Mike Brusko, also played for the Black Bears from 2005-2008.

“I have at least two or three other friends who have done exactly the same thing,” said a reluctant Brusko, who is still reeling from the news about Belcher. “I know all of them and I would only have ever attributed that to a bad decision that was influenced by alcohol.”

Brusko said the incident stemmed from what he termed “immaturity and some intoxication.” Looking back, he doesn’t view it as any kind of a warning sign.

“He wasn’t the only person drinking that night,” he said. “I’ve made a hundred decisions like that that I’d like to take back. Nobody ever would have taken that incident and turned it into some sort of foreshadowing of what he would [ultimately] do.”

The noise complaint in 2007 did not lead to any legal or university action.

The police report stated “there was no indication of the discussion being physical and there was no indication of intoxication on either party.”

At UMaine, Belcher took part in a for-credit class called Male Athletes Against Violence during the fall semester in 2007, according to a statement issued by the university in response to a request for an interview with Dr. Sandra L. Caron, professor of family relations and human sexuality.

“MAAV is an effort to involve men so that we can begin to understand that violence is very much a ‘man’s issue,’” the statement said.

Dana said Belcher’s participation in the class was unrelated to the aforementioned situations.

“The class is an academic class. It’s not for rehabilitation purposes or to educate students who might have gotten sideways,” Dana said.

The MAAV class, founded in the fall of 2004 by Caron, is modeled after her nationally recognized peer education program, Athletes for Sexual Responsibility.

The university statement said the students who enroll are typically varsity athletes.

“The students are involved in peer education efforts on campus that focus on issues of masculinity and violence,” the statement read. “The group often sponsors information tables to raise awareness and encourage college-age men to sign the Male Athletes Against Violence pledge card.”

When asked about Belcher’s participation in the class, UMaine issued the following statement on Caron’s behalf.

“This is a tragedy beyond comprehension and completely at odds with what the Male Athletes Against Violence peer education program stands for,” Caron said. “Our deepest sympathies are with Jovan and Kasandra’s loved ones.”

At UMaine, Belcher earned a degree in child development and family relations in 2008, completing his academic course work in 3½ years, according to head football coach Jack Cosgrove.

During his time in Orono, Belcher also participated in the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization in Greater Bangor. In that capacity, he spent quality time with some local children.

“I often saw Jovan with underprivileged kids,” Brusko said. “I can remember him bringing kids around the football facility and showing them around and being a mentor to them.”

Belcher, a three-time All-American wrestler from West Babylon, N.Y., went largely unrecruited for football but signed to play at UMaine.

As a senior in 2008, Belcher was named the Colonial Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Year and was selected as a consensus first-team All-American. He signed a free-agent contract with the Chiefs in 2009.

In March, he signed a one-year contract worth $1.9 million, according to published reports.

He had earned a starting spot in three of his four years with Kansas City.

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