USC backup fullback Dustyn McElroy has been dismissed from the team after allegedly biting a man in the face during a fight outside the Village Idiot bar and restaurant in Five Points last week.
Columbia police say the 22-year-old McElroy was celebrating St. Patrick’s Day at the popular student hangout when he became involved in an altercation that continued outside after bouncers removed the combatants from the bar.
According to the incident report, when a man tried to break up the fight, McElroy placed him in a “bear hug” and bit him on the left cheek, causing a “severe facial laceration.” The man was not identified in the report.
After the fight broke up, police say McElroy punched and shattered the storefront window of an art gallery adjacent to Village Idiot.
Michael Jeffcoat, McElroy’s attorney, said McElroy acted in self-defense after seven men jumped him on the sidewalk outside the bar.
“He’d been attacked by seven guys and he just wanted to get away,” Jeffcoat said. “They jumped on him and he didn’t have any choice but to defend himself.”
McElroy, a walk-on from Irmo High who joined USC’s team last fall, is charged with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature and malicious injury to personal property.
According to the Richland County Web site, McElroy pleaded guilty in November to a previous charge of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, and was sentenced to 18 months probation.
McElroy played one season at Newberry College and also attended Midlands Tech before transferring to USC. He did not see action in any games for the Gamecocks.