UCLA offensive lineman Paul Grattan Jr. faces criminal charges in wake of bar fight while at Villanova

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UCLA players enter the Rose Bowl before their game against rival USC on Dec. 12, 2020.
UCLA players enter the Rose Bowl before their game against rival USC on Dec. 12, 2020. (Associated Press)

UCLA starting offensive guard Paul Grattan Jr. faces three criminal charges, including misdemeanor assault, in Pennsylvania stemming from an altercation at a bar before transferring from Villanova, The Times has learned.

A UCLA athletic department spokesperson said Tuesday that Grattan remained in good standing at the school while acknowledging that athletic officials were monitoring the court case. The spokesperson also said that Grattan, a graduate transfer about to start his second season with the Bruins, remained in good standing at Villanova at the time of his departure in August.

A Villanova athletic department official did not respond to repeated calls and emails seeking comment about whether Grattan faced any disciplinary action from the school as a result of the matter.

Grattan faces a misdemeanor charge of simple assault as part of the criminal complaint in addition to lesser charges of harassment by subjecting another to physical contact and disorderly conduct by engaging in fighting. The fight at Kelly’s Taproom in Lower Merion Township, Pa., on Feb. 26, 2020, involved another Villanova student who suffered a concussion, according to a spokesperson from the Montgomery County district attorney’s office.

According to the police report, the other Villanova student engaged in conversation with Grattan, an acquaintance, before a physical altercation resulted in the student being assaulted by Grattan.

The police officer who viewed bar security footage wrote in the incident report that the video showed Grattan “smack the left shoulder area” of the other student before grabbing him by the neck. The student attempted to pull away, the officer reported, from the neck grab and used his left backhand to strike Grattan as part of his efforts to free himself.

Grattan, listed in the police report at 6 feet 4 and 300 pounds, momentarily released the student’s neck, the officer stated, before repeatedly punching him in the face and head with his right fist. After the student broke away, Grattan followed him and delivered several more punches to the head before patrons intervened and broke up the scuffle, according to the police report.

The next step in the case is for it to be placed on a pre-trial list, which is essentially a check-in with the judge. After that, Grattan would enter a plea and face either a bench or jury trial.

A first-team All-Colonial Athletic Assn. selection during his final season at Villanova in 2019, Grattan significantly bolstered UCLA’s offensive line last season while starting all seven games. He opened holes for running backs Demetric Felton Jr. and Brittain Brown, helping the Bruins average 230.6 yards rushing per game, ranking second in the Pac-12 Conference. UCLA did allow 1.71 sacks per game, tied with Oregon State for eighth in the conference.

UCLA’s offensive line returns fully intact this season.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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