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Utah junior cornerback Dominique Hatfield was charged Thursday with aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony that carries a possible sentence of five years to life in prison.
The 20-year-old, once thought to be a certain starter this fall, is accused of pulling a knife on a man who responded to a classified ad for a video game console and then fleeing on foot with $180 in cash.
Hatfield was arrested later Tuesday night, according to charging documents, after the victim's wife contacted the same purported seller ("David Wilkins") to inquire about two iPhones listed for sale. The seller requested that they meet at the same 625 W. 3900 South car wash.
Unified Police detained Hatfield "as he was heading in the direction" of the woman's truck, court documents state, and found two smartphones but no knife in Hatfield's possession.
Hatfield later denied involvement in the robbery to a UPD detective but admitted to selling phones he'd obtained at parties, where, according to court documents, "sometimes drunk people would leave their phones."
UPD found the previous owner of one of the phones.
The victim described the alleged robber as "a black man wearing dark pants, a green beanie, a backpack and a dark shirt with a grey design on it," court documents say.
When the victim arrived at the car wash, he later told police, the seller texted that he was at a nearby convenience store and would be there soon. A cashier at the Maverick on 500 W. 3900 South has stated that a man matching the suspect's description appeared in the store five minutes before the alleged robbery.
The victim later identified Hatfield, who lives in a nearby apartment complex, as the man who had taken his money.
Hatfield was also charged with theft of lost or misdelivered property, a class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 up to a year in jail.
Blake Nakamura, chief deputy at the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office, told The Tribune that there is additional information that is likely to be produced in coming days.
Charging documents state that the perpetrator left a backpack at the scene after fleeing with the victim's cash, but Nakamura would not say whether the backpack contained a console, or whether police were able to link the backpack to Hatfield.
Defense attorney Greg Skordas said he could not comment on the case, but Hatfield was released from Salt Lake County jail Thursday evening after his family posted bail with a bondsman. Bail was $50,000.
Hatfield later tweeted:
I'm good thanks to all my supporters. Don't believe everything you hear! I will not be responding to anybody no time soon— HattyF (@The15thUTE) July 3, 2015
Skordas added that he hoped to be able to schedule a hearing in 3rd District Court for Monday. No court date had been set as of Thursday afternoon.
Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham is on vacation, possibly out of cellphone range, and has not returned a request for comment.
Hatfield impressed last year after making the switch from wideout to corner in fall camp and recording 38 tackles, nine pass breakups and an interception returned for a touchdown.