Saskatchewan Roughriders’ Purifoy detained after Regina restaurant ‘disturbance’

Saskatchewan Roughriders player Loucheiz Purifoy says he was with teammates at a Regina restaurant where a “disturbance” occurred this past weekend.

The Canadian Football League (CFL) franchise announced on Tuesday that it was made aware recently Purifoy “was with a party that created a disturbance” on the evening of Nov. 28 following the team’s victory in the West semifinal.

“I have no idea what was happening with the altercation that was going on,” Purifoy said.

“The … disturbance part. I had nothing to do with it. I was just in the middle of it because I’m talking to a manager and it’s people arguing, so I’m just in the middle of it. So that’s how I looked.

“I was there with teammates … My teammates will tell you that I was defusing the situation, to be honest.”

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The 28-year-old Florida native said he was talking to a restaurant manager about his food.

“My food that I didn’t get for two-and-a-half hours at Earls,” Purifoy said.

“I should have stayed in the house but I was hungry, man. I was hungry. I can’t help it.”

On Tuesday afternoon, the Regina Police Service (RPS) announced it was called to an alleged assault in connection with an incident at a restaurant in the 2600 block of 28th Avenue around 10:35 p.m. on Nov. 28.

“Information received in the call indicated a man and woman were involved in a disturbance inside the restaurant and had just left the premises,” read a press release.

“When police arrived, there were several people standing outside; officers were directed toward two specific individuals who were taken into custody without incident.”

Police said they took a statement from a 22-year-old female employee who alleged to have been struck in the face by the 31-year-old woman in custody. Officials said the employee did not require medical assistance.

Mariesa Natalia Giovannetti, of Regina, is facing a common assault charge. She was released on an undertaking to appear in provincial court on Jan. 17, 2022.

“(She is) my friend,” Purifoy said when asked about a woman being charged with common assault.

“We were all together. I was with my teammates too.”

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RPS said the man who was taken into custody was not charged and was released once “calm and sober… (and) this is a typical disposition to prevent a person who is intoxicated from breaching the peace.”

“I was a part of a party. There was a disturbance and the police were called and I was detained for the night with no charges for breaching the peace,” Purifoy said.

“I guess I got loud with the waitress.”

The Rider said he was released from detainment on Monday.

“I don’t even want to speak on police. I don’t. That’s their job. They did their job. I can’t get mad at them for doing their job,” Purifoy said.

“It’s life. I mean, I made a mistake. It happens. I didn’t get charged. I just had to sleep in a holding cell … I don’t want to go back.

“I could have avoided the whole situation. At the end of the day, the situation had to happen. So I could have just took myself out of the situation. I was just upset about my food.”

Roughriders head coach Craig Dickenson and Purifoy were available to the media on Tuesday morning at Mosaic Stadium.

“We know that we’re recognizable in this community so we wanted to make sure that we got out in front of it and just apologize for what happened and take responsibility and move on,” Dickenson said.

“I think Loucheiz feels bad about what happened. He knows that as a member of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, we’re all held to a higher standard and we have a code of conduct and that was in violation of it, and there will be some internal discipline because of it.

“But the main thing I think is he realizes he made a mistake and he wants to own it and we support him because he’s still a member of this team. We’re disappointed and embarrassed by it, but we also support him.”

With Saskatchewan set to play the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the West final on Sunday, Purifoy said he wanted to get ahead of news and not be a distraction ahead of the game.

“I don’t want to be a distraction in a bad way at all. Of course not. I don’t get in trouble. I don’t do this … I’m here to play ball. I’m here to respect my team. I’m here to respect this community,” Purifoy said.

“We got a journey we still on right now and I don’t want this to be a disturbance.

“This won’t happen again. This will not be a distraction and we still got one goal.”

Dickenson said he didn’t know what the internal discipline would be or whether or not Purifoy will play this upcoming weekend.

“Can’t say for sure,” Dickenson said.

“Every game’s important … he’s our teammate. He’s our family. We’re not going to make an example out of someone that was in the wrong place at the wrong time and should’ve left five minutes earlier than he did.”

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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