Two former Boston College football players yesterday were ordered to serve one year of pretrial probation for their roles in a bar brawl near North Station in which a patron was seriously injured.
One of the players, Gosder Cherilus, also was ordered to pay the victim $52,000 toward his medical bills.
Cherilus and DeJuan Tribble, both 23, were BC stars when they intervened in a confrontation at The Greatest Bar last July between a customer, Sean Maney, and an off-duty Massachusetts State Police sergeant, Joseph J. Boike, a part owner of the nightspot. Maney suffered a broken neck and other injuries.
Boston Municipal Court Judge Paul K. Leary ordered Cherilus and Tribble, both of whom were selected in April's NFL draft, to stay away from Maney and ruled that the charges against them would be dismissed if they abide by the court order and stay out of trouble for a year. Each was charged with one count of assault and battery and one count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (a shod foot).
Leary issued the ruling after the players and Maney reached an agreement to resolve the case. The agreement was reviewed and approved by prosecutors, according to Jake Wark, a spokesman for Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley.
"The resolution offered the best and surest chance for the victim to obtain restitution and compensation," Wark said.
Maney, 29, a software engineer from Watertown, testified in a preliminary hearing that Cherilus grabbed him in a choke hold and dragged him across a dance floor before they crashed into a table. Maney said Cherilus and Tribble punched and kicked him while he lay on the ground.
"I thought I was going to die up there that night," he testified.
Cherilus, a 6-foot-7-inch, 314-pound offensive tackle who was selected 17th overall by the Detroit Lions, said in a Globe interview soon after the incident that he did not harm Maney and was acting solely as a peacemaker. Tribble, a 5-9, 190-pound cornerback who was drafted in the sixth round by the San Diego Chargers, also told the Globe he did nothing wrong.
"The lesson I learned," Cherilus said last year, "is not to try to break up any more fights."
Attorney Philip A. Tracy Jr., who represents Cherilus and Tribble, said, "We're glad this part of the case is behind us."
Maney also has filed a civil suit against Cherilus, Tribble, Boike, and The Greatest Bar.
Maney could not be reached for comment, but his mother, Maureen, said the family was satisfied with the resolution. Boike continues to face charges that he assaulted Maney and Christy Osborne, the girlfriend of Maney's brother, Brian.
"So far, justice has prevailed," Maureen Maney said. "We're just waiting for more truth to come out."
Cherilus, who also starred at Somerville High School, was visiting the bar with a group of BC players to celebrate his birthday when Boike directed Maney and his friends to leave their seats and make room for the athletes. The fight started when Osborne objected to Boike's directive.
BC football coach Jeff Jagodzinski chose not to discipline Cherilus and Tribble after they were charged in the incident. The players, competing as fifth-year seniors, helped BC post an 11-3 record, including a 24-21 victory over Michigan State in the Champs Sports Bowl.
Another team member, Brady Smith, last month was placed on probation for two years after he admitted in Brighton Municipal Court that there were sufficient facts to support a finding that he was guilty of indecent assault and battery against a female BC student in her dorm room.
Bob Hohler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.