TWO TEMPLE FOOTBALL players will face trial on felony aggravated assault and conspiracy charges and related misdemeanor charges in connection with an off-campus fight at a North Philly nightclub earlier this year, a Common Pleas judge ruled yesterday.
Haason Reddick, 20, of Camden, and Dion Dawkins, 21, of Rahway, N.J., are accused of seriously injuring Benjamin Wood, 21, another Temple student.
Judge Michael Erdos' ruling reverses one made by Municipal Judge Joyce Eubanks in April.
Eubanks had dismissed all charges against Reddick and dismissed most of the charges against Dawkins, holding him for trial only on a misdemeanor simple-assault charge, after she heard testimony by Wood.
The District Attorney's Office refiled all charges against both defendants, appealing the case to the higher Common Pleas Court for another preliminary hearing.
As part of his review, Erdos considered testimony from the first preliminary hearing.
Assistant District Attorney Jason Grenell yesterday called a witness to the stand who wasn't called to testify at the first hearing. Yasmeen Wicks, Wood's ex-girlfriend, testified that on Jan. 18, at Club 1800, at 5th and Berks streets, she was on the stage when she saw a fight. She said Wood, then her boyfriend, was on the floor.
"He was being punched and kicked to his face" by the two defendants, she said.
Asked by Erdos if anyone else had kicked Wood, Wicks said "yes," estimating there were several people attacking him.
Under cross-examination by Dawkins' attorney, James Funt, Wicks said she didn't see who started the fight.
The club was crowded, with a "few hundred" people, and she lost sight of Wood after she jumped off the stage and was making her way through the crowd to get to him, she said.
She told Funt she saw both Reddick and Dawkins kick Wood in the upper body and face area. When asked the number of times each allegedly kicked Wood, she said she wasn't counting.
Wood had testified at the April hearing that after he got out of the bathroom in the club, he saw his friend Delonte Stancil being stomped on by Reddick.
Wood said he "jumped on Delonte to try to protect him," then got stomped, but didn't know who was kicking him.
When he was able to pull Stancil away, Wood said someone kicked him in the face, just below his right eye, but he didn't know who kicked him.
Wood said he then "observed Dion Dawkins charge at me," and the two began to fight.
Wood later went to a hospital and was treated for a fractured right orbital bone. He said he was still experiencing "double vision" from being kicked in the face.
Funt yesterday wanted to call Stancil to the witness stand, but Erdos denied his request. He also wanted to show a video of Wood playing basketball after the incident, contending Wood did not suffer from double vision, but Erdos denied that, too, saying that went to a credibility issue to be determined at trial.
After the hearing, Funt said: "I think the witness today [Wicks] really has a bias and motivation to testify for her ex-boyfriend." He contended that her testimony contradicted Wood's.