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WLU Harris arrested for DUI

December 7, 2012
By TYLER REYNARD - Special to the Herald-Star , The Herald-Star

WEST LIBERTY - Ohio County sheriff's deputies arrested West Liberty University junior and basketball standout Cedric Harris for DUI early Thursday after he wrecked his car near the campus.

Ohio County Magistrate Joe Roxby arraigned Harris Thursday morning on a charge of first-offense DUI. The 22-year-old Zanesville native was released from the Northern Regional Jail in Moundsville later that day on a $1,000 personal recognizance bond.

According to court documents, a deputy patrolling near North Fork Road and state Route 88 was waved down by people on the roadway Tuesday morning. Deputies said Harris was behind the wheel of a black sedan when the car crashed. It was a single-vehicle accident, and Harris was not traveling with any passengers, the sheriff's department reported.

Harris denied drinking any alcohol, but he reportedly was unsteady on his feet and "had an odor of an alcoholic beverage about his person," documents state.

Harris failed field sobriety tests at the scene of the accident. He also submitted to a Breathalyzer test at the scene and registered a 0.137 percent blood-alcohol content. The legal limit for driving is 0.08 percent. He later registered a 0.130 percent blood-alcohol content at sheriff's department headquarters.

A preliminary hearing in the case before Ohio County Magistrate Harry Radcliffe had not been scheduled. Harris waived his right to an attorney.

West Liberty men's head basketball coach Jim Crutchfield had not met with Harris to discuss the arrest as of 1 p.m. Thursday, and it was not made known if his status with the team had changed.

"First we have to figure exactly the situation," Crutchfield said. "We have to figure out what happened - why, where, when. I don't have all of that right now. What I want to do is find out every single detail and every single fact.

"Our rules are geared toward right and wrong - Cedric knows right and wrong," he continued. "(Harris) is a real good kid. This is kind of the exception."

West Liberty Director of Media Relations Maureen Zambito offered the following statement: "West Liberty University is aware of an off-campus incident with one of its students and we are investigating the matter. We want to respect his student rights under the federal privacy law and have no further comment at this time."

Harris leads the No. 1 ranked Hilltoppers in assists and is second in scoring from his starting guard position. He was named first-team all West Virginia Conference last year, his first with the team.

The Hilltoppers are scheduled to play Glenville State College at 4 p.m. Saturday at the ASRC Field House.

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