Athlete faces battery charge

By Stewart Warren

An NIU football player is being charged with battery after allegedly fighting with another student Sunday morning during a brawl at a local bar.

Defensive end Timothy L. Green, 23, 1024 W. Hillcrest Drive, Apt. 10, was arrested Sunday by DeKalb Police and charged with battery. Green allegedly punched Mark Zilinskas, 22, at Amnesia, 1000 W. Lincoln Hwy., during an argument, police said. Zilinskas broke his ankle in the incident, police said.

The Sunday night incident is the latest in a recent series of batteries involving NIU football players. Two weeks ago, halfback Brent Schroeder, cornerback Rich Favor and defensive tackle Tom Osteen were arrested for battery.

Athletic Director Gerald O’Dell said Green is innocent until proven guilty. “At the same time, we don’t condone problems at any time,” he said.

DeKalb Police officers J. Kurt Rissman and Wesley Hoadley went to Amnesia at about 2 a.m. to break up a fight, said Lt. Chuck Kross. The fight was over when they arrived, he said.

The officers saw several men standing near the west side of the building, Kross said. One of the men fell down suddenly and several others ran away, he said.

issman chased the men and stopped them near Colonial Townhouses on West Lincoln Highway, Kross said.

Zilinskas identified Green as the man who hit him and was taken to Kishwaukee Community Hospital, where he was treated for cuts and a broken left ankle, Kross said.

Zilinskas’ ankle snapped when he jumped backward away from Green, Kross said.

“According to the victim, there had been a guy pounding on his truck, causing his car alarm to go off. When he asked Green why he did it, words were exchanged and the guy dropped him,” Kross said.

Although blacks and whites were involved in the incident, Kross said “there is no indication that there was anything racial going on here. Nothing in our report indicates racial remarks passed back and forth.”

Green told police very little other than Zilinskas swung first, Kross said.

When called twice for comment, the man who answered Green’s phone used profanity and sexual expletives to say Green had no comment.

Green later called The Northern Star to reaffirm the no comment, and said nobody could have called him at home because nobody was there to answer the telephone.

Zilinskas could not be reached for comment.

Osteen, Favor and Schroeder are suspended from the team by Pettibone until the problem was resolved, O’Dell said.

Pettibone could not be reached for comment and Assistant Coach Mike Summers refused to comment until he knew more about the incident.

Green is scheduled to appear in court Dec. 28.