Tased former Beaver avoids jail

2010-11-17T00:00:00Z Tased former Beaver avoids jailBy EMILY GILLESPIE, Gazette-Times reporter Corvallis Gazette Times
November 17, 2010 12:00 am  • 

A former Oregon State University football player who was arrested after he was found drunk and mostly naked in a Corvallis resident’s home was sentenced Tuesday to community service and probation.

Judge Charles Littlehales sentenced Tyler Patrick Thomas, 19, of Kalispell, Mont., to 80 hours of community service and 12 months of probation, including alcohol evaluation and treatment. His driver’s license was suspended for a year, and he was ordered to pay fines and restitutions totalling $1,077.

The sentence in Benton County Circuit Court was in exchange for Thomas’ plea of guilty to second-degree criminal mischief and being a minor in possession of alcohol. Charges of first-degree criminal trespassing and interfering with a peace officer were dismissed as part of the plea deal.

Wearing jeans and a pullover sweater in court, Thomas observed the proceedings quietly. He spoke only to utter the words “guilty” and “yes” in answer to questions from Judge Littlehales.

Thomas was arrested after Corvallis police responded Aug. 22 to a burglary report from a residence in the 500 block of Northwest 14th Street, where a woman reported an intruder was in her house. When officers arrived, they found Thomas, wearing boxer shorts and a wig. He disobeyed officer’s orders to get on the floor, then he dropped into a three-point football stance and lunged at the officers. They used a Taser blast to subdue the 6-foot-3, 290-pound former offensive lineman, then they arrested him.

His blood alcohol content was measured at 0.15 percent.

Initial police reports that Thomas was naked at the time were amended in court to note that he was wearing boxers. No explanation was offered for why he also was wearing a wig.

“Goes to show you that not everybody can drink the same way,” chief deputy district attorney and state prosecutor Christian Stringer said. “When you get that intoxicated, bad things are going to happen.”

They already had for Thomas, even before Tuesday’s sentencing.

Immediately after his arrest, Beavers head football coach Mike Riley dismissed Thomas from the team, noting that it was the second time he had been involved in an alcohol-related offense. In April, Thomas was cited for using a fake ID to get into a Corvallis bar.

Stringer said that in the August incident, the female resident, who was pregnant at the time, told police that she saw a “big football player urinating on a homemade computer and carpet.”

“Thomas is very lucky that the resident wasn’t someone who shot him as a burglar,” Stringer said Tuesday.

John C. Rich, Thomas’ attorney, said Thomas “... feels really bad for what happened.” Rich noted that his client already had been punished due to the national media coverage that the incident generated.

“Because of the media response, (Thomas) will not be able to Google his name for years without seeing his mug shot,” Rich said.

Judge Littlehales said, “We live in a different world today. You can expunge your record, but you can’t expunge the Internet.”

Rich said that Thomas will finish the academic term at OSU, where he is studying biology, and then he plans to return to Montana.

Copyright 2015 Corvallis Gazette Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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