University of Georgia

UGA's Lemon, a Macon native, charged with battery

Macon's Michael Lemon, a sophomore defensive end at Georgia, was arrested Thursday on a felony charge stemming from an incident that allegedly left another man with a blowout fracture below his left eye.

Lemon, 6-foot-4, 275 pounds, was charged with felony aggravated battery and simple battery stemming from an incident that took place Saturday during a community pool event at The Exchange apartments in Athens.

Lemon turned himself into the Athens-Clarke County police at 9 a.m. and was then placed under arrest, Athens attorney Ed Tolley said. Lemon was expected to be released shortly on a $6,500 bond, Tolley said.

Georgia's athletic department policy calls for any athlete charged with a felony to be placed on immediate suspension at least until the charges are addressed. Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt is aware of the incident but has made no public announcements about his plans to discipline Lemon, who played in eight games and had seven tackles last season.

A warrant was issued for Lemon's arrest Wednesday.

Demarius Jackson, the alleged victim in the case, and his family were concerned the incident would be swept under the rug because Lemon is a football player, Jackson said Thursday.

"They kept pressuring the (district attorney) and the police to do something about it," he said. "My parents were aggravated that it took so long to arrest him, but I think they are happy that something is being done finally and that it will continue to be done and not be let up on."

Jackson remains mystified five days after the incident about why it happened, he said. Lemon, who he had not met before Saturday, accused Jackson of talking to his girlfriend, Jackson said.

"I know her, but not like that, I told him he didn't know what he was talking about," he said. "He seemed like he was about to turn to leave, and that's when he blindsided me. That's all I remember."

Jackson was seated at the time of the incident, he said. After Lemon's second punch, Jackson blacked out, he said.

Lemon is expected in Macon in two weeks to testify in the trial of the man accused of killing his mother, 39-year-old Phaba Lemon, last February in Lizella.

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