The View From Wisconsin
Just a random set of rants from a Sports Fan from Wisconsin.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Puttin' on my Gil Grissom hat, here's my take on what probably happened to Angela and Renee:
Since the Panthers were at Tampa this past weekend, it was probably an "off weekend" for the TopCats squad. Renee and Angela, perhaps due to their connections through UNC-Charlotte, were friends on the squad. Renee may have made the plans to go down to Tampa as part of a "birthday" celebration – judging from her age and that she's still in school, she may be turning 21 in a short period of time, before the end of the season. (After re-looking at the mugshot, I was wrong: she just turned 20 a month and a half ago.)
Angela, on her part, may have either made arrangements not to be working that weekend, or may have "fiblet-ed" about having to work for the Panthers down in Tampa. We don't know for sure, but somehow they both decided to go down to Tampa with the team.
It would be reasonable to assume that they travelled down to Tampa with the team on Saturday (either in the AM or afternoon). For whatever reason they may have claimed they were visiting Tampa, they ended up in the Channelside district, where most of the happening bars are.
Since Renee was still underaged, she decided to use a "fake ID" – either that or she "borrowed" the fake ID from her fellow TopCat, a girl known as "Kristen". Whether or not Angela knew that Renee was using a fake ID is questionable; Angela may not have known exactly when it was going to be Renee's birthday.
Anyways, they get to the club and start partying. At some time late in the night, one (or both) of the ladies end up in the bathroom – logic would suggest that it was Renee, since she may have both been drinking heavily for the first time, or she may have been overdoing it because it was her "birthday" celebration. It may also have been both, but we may not be sure. They go into the bathroom, and a lady who is leaving sees one of the girls heave their guts out into the toilet.
The two ladies end up spending a long time in the bathroom, and a line forms outside. At some point, some demanding patrons start pounding on the door impatiently. The door comes open, and the two cheerleaders may have been in a position that looked like they were pleasuring each other. However, given their outfits as they left the Hillsborough County Jail Sunday afternoon, it's more likely that they may have had a wardrobe malfunction of some sort. Unfortunately, that's not what the other patrons saw as the door flew open. (Actually, it appears there was an exchange in the bathroom, and Angela screamed something about "my friend is having problems" - which seems to indicate it was Renee who was probably yakking in the toilet.)
The pair came out of the bathroom after cleaning up, and it's highly likely that one of the other patrons made some snide comment to them (probably something along the lines of, "dyke bitch, get a room next time"). Renee took offense at these remarks, and pushed at the patron as she walked by. When the patron pushed back, Renee smacked her.
That was probably when all hell broke loose in this bar. If TPD wasn't already on site because of the complaints over the bathroom, they were definitely there when the fur started flying (pardon the pun). Angela may have been trying to break things up, and in the process ended up struggling with police.
It isn't clear whether or not the two suffered any injuries in the incident, but it's not likely that it was severe enough. As they were being led away, it's likely that the rumors started flying – especially if they had mentioned at anytime during the night that they were Panthers cheerleaders. (They did mention it, apparently, because there were some people at a HS reunion that claimed they met the pair as "gate crashers" at the club - Banana Joe's. And it appears the only marks were on the chick who Thomas hit - gave her a shiner.)
At the Hillsborough County Jail, Renee made her worst move of the night by presenting the TPD with the driver's license of another Panther cheerleader, named Kristen. In her possible fear of being nailed for underage drinking, she missed the realization that she could be charged both with giving a false name and third-degree felony assault of another – punishable by probation or a jail term of one to five years.
It's assumed that after they got out of jail, they went back to the hotel where the team was staying and waited for the team to return, hoping that no one would have heard of the incident.
It is not known when the Panthers organization found out about the incident, but when it did, things went very very haywire. Apparently, as soon as the pair returned to Charlotte, the team informed both that they were fired. Also, apparently Angela was given "administrative leave" from her job as a nurse at Carolinas Medical Center. (In short, she was suspended – with pay, according to later reports.)
As NFL fans were waking up to discover that strange things had happened in Tampa over the weekend, various internet news sources and bloggers had broken the story about the "lesbian sex episode". The numerous hits to the Panthers website at carolinapanthers.com caused the server to crash, which wasn't rectified until Tuesday.
Tuesday was damage control, as a lawyer for Thomas stated that the two were not having sex in the stall, as was rumored. However, the Tampa PD put out a fugitive arrest warrant for Thomas, since she had given the fake ID.
The other rumors were flying Tuesday as well, including a report that Penthouse magazine had attempted to contact the pair about doing a pictorial spread. No word on the truth to the report, though speculation over their appearance in any of a number of men's magazines is just that at this point.
There really was no new word on the status of the two cheerleaders as of this morning, because the warrant for Thomas' arrest hasn't been extradited to the Carolinas. However, from the sounds of things, it appears that Thomas was way more at fault than Keathley; depending on the backgrounds of the two, it's likely that neither will get anything serious, except for probation.