Tulane senior running back Robert Kelley is facing criminal charges of simple robbery and simple battery after allegedly beating a fellow Tulane student and stealing his bicycle, Eyewitness News has confirmed.
Kelley, 21, was booked on Aug. 4, then freed after posting a $10,000 bond, court records show.
The former O. Perry Walker standout had been absent since spring drills last year with what Coach Curtis Johnson described as academic problems. Kelley’s problems have now escalated into battling felony charges to which he confessed to police, according to an NOPD arrest warrant application.
Police said the battery and robbery unfolded shortly after midnight July 30 outside of The Boot, the popular Tulane hangout adjacent to campus on Broadway.
According to the warrant application, the victim and a friend “were approached by a group of Tulane football players,” including Kelley. The victim reported that after some rough-housing, somebody took his bike and placed it in a portable toilet “to mess with him.”
After retrieving his bike and leaving the area, the victim reported that Kelley followed him.
“Mr. Kelley became angry and punched (the victim) in his right abdomen area,” Detective Sgt. Scott Meunier wrote. “(The victim) advised that he fell to the ground in pain and Mr. Kelley jumped on top of him and began to beat him.”
The victim reported suffering from scrapes, abrasions and ripped clothing.
That same night, Kelley retrieved his bicycle near the college dormitories, only to have Kelley pounce on him and take the bike for good.
According to Sgt. Meunier, Kelley later confessed.
“I then interviewed the suspect, Mr. Robert Kelley, who admitted taking the bicycle from the victim and hiding it. He also admitted to receiving a telephone call from the victim asking for his property back and advised that he hung up on him,” Meunier wrote.
Kelley is due back in court on Sept. 9 for a status report.