East Lansing — Michigan State defensive end Demetrius Cooper was charged with misdemeanor assault and battery after a late October incident when he allegedly spit in the face of an East Lansing PACE officer, according court documents and police reports.
The incident occurred around 8:50 p.m. Oct. 30, 2016, when an officer with Parking and Code Enforcement said he saw a car parked illegally in front of Noodles and Co. in East Lansing. The officer issued a citation for impeding traffic and was confronted by Cooper, 21, who came out of the restaurant when he saw he was being given a ticket.
According to the report, the PACE officer explained the citation and Cooper headed back into the restaurant, at which time he advised Cooper he could receive another citation if the Chevrolet Impala remained parked illegally. That’s where the stories differ.
The officer claims Cooper said, “I’m going to spit in your face. I should spit on you right now,” at which time police say he did spit on the officer. Cooper’s statement in the police report said he admitted he was frustrated and confused why he could receive another citation and said he did tell the officer he should spit on him but did not.
After an investigation, a warrant was issued for Cooper’s arrest and it was executed on Nov. 30 without incident. Cooper posted $500 bond.
He was scheduled to be in court on Thursday for a pretrial hearing. Michigan State officials have not responded to a request for comment.
Cooper is entering his fifth year with the Michigan State football program after redshirting as a freshman. In 38 career games, Cooper has 55 tackles, including 14.5 for loss and 8.5 sacks. He started 11 of 12 games last season and had 23 tackles with six coming for loss along with 2.5 sacks.
He is projected to be a starter in 2017.