Reports of Downing arrest add to Liverpool's troubles

 

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The Independent Online

The England midfielder Stewart Downing has reportedly been arrested on suspicion of assault. Reports yesterday said the Liverpool player was arrested after allegedly hitting his ex-girlfriend in a nightclub fight. When asked about the story, Cleveland Police would say only that "a 27-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of assault". Downing is 27.

Police confirmed officers in northeast England were "called to an incident at a pub on Yarm High Street shortly before 1 am" on Sunday, and added that a 32-year-old woman was also arrested on suspicion of assault. A source told the Daily Mail that there had been an incident between the two of them.

"She went over to one of his friends and said something that she shouldn't have," claimed the source. "He butted in and they were arguing.' According to the source, the man then hit the woman: "Police got there as they were thrown out. He caused a scene outside the club as well, when he realised they were going to take him in."

Both people remained in police custody yesterday while the investigation continued. Liverpool did not respond to requests for comment. Yarm is near Middlesbrough, where Downing used to play.

Liverpool have been mired in controversy recently. A 20-year-old man was arrested on Saturday for allegedly racially abusing Oldham defender Tom Adeyemi on Friday night during the FA Cup tie at Anfield, just weeks after Luis Suarez was handed an an eight-match ban for abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.

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