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‘He violated team rules’ Calipari said of the redshirt sophomore, who is currently suspended from all team activities.
Matt Stone, Courier Journal

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The University of Kentucky student who allegedly accompanied a UK basketball player to a party while armed with a gun was arrested Sunday. 

Aaron Steele, 20, was booked in the Lexington Fayette County Jail and charged with fourth-degree assault, dating violence with minor injury, a misdemeanor. Steele remained in jail Sunday night waiting for a judge to set bond.

A police report from the incident had not been released Sunday night. It was not known if the arrest was related to the previous allegations involving Steele, and a police spokeswoman said she could not yet release details.

“We can’t give out the probable cause at this time,” Lexington police Lt. Jackie Newman said. “It was considered dating violence, so it was likely related to someone he was dating or was with. That’s all the information we have at this time.” 

UK previously investigated whether Steele was armed at a party in January, an attorney representing the student told Courier Journal last week. Steele was allegedly accompanying Kentucky basketball player Tai Wynyard, who has been suspended indefinitely from all team activities. Team spokesperson Eric Lindsey would not confirm if the suspension was related to that allegation. 

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No criminal charges were filed in January, and UK spokesman Jay Blanton would not confirm the school’s investigation, citing “federal privacy laws that protect student confidentiality … we can’t comment on a specific case.” 

The Kentucky Interfraternity Council met with fraternity and sorority presidents after Steele allegedly attended the party while armed and “protecting” Wynyard, and sorority members, used a group messaging app to warn each other and identify him. 

The Group Me message circulated by sorority members in January stated: “there is a guy named Aaron Steel (sic) showing up to parties with the basketball player Tai Wynyard. He showed up last night to our rush party and … had a gun … said he was ‘protecting’ Wynyard. … If you go out tonight and see him DO NOT APPROACH HIM. Share this to EVERY SISTER.” 

Attorney Abe Mashni, who is representing Steele, said the university found no wrongdoing in its investigation into the allegations.

“My client is not a bodyguard, for Tai Wynyard or anyone else,” Mashni told Courier Journal in an email. “He’s a student and a kid. It’s important to remember we are talking about eighteen and nineteen-year-old kids. This issue was investigated by the University of Kentucky and no violations of student conduct were found. No criminal charges were filed. This is a non-story. We ask that you respect his privacy while he continues to work toward a degree.”

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