University of Arizona

UCLA Player Arrested After Allegedly Spitting at Arizona Fan

UCLA officials say they are reviewing the incident

UCLA's Mac Etienne, front left, competes for a rebound with Michigan State's Joshua Langford during the second half of a First Four game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament, Thursday, March 18, 2021, at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Indiana. UCLA won 86-80.
AP Photo/Robert Franklin

UCLA men's basketball player Mac Etienne was arrested and cited on suspicion of misdemeanor assault after appearing to spit toward a fan after the Bruins lost a road game to Pac-12 rival Arizona, a University of Arizona police spokesman said Friday.

The alleged incident occurred Thursday night as UCLA players left the McKale Center playing floor and entered a tunnel to go to their locker room, said the spokesman, Officer Jesus Aguilar.

Etienne was allowed to go to the locker room and was then arrested, cited and released, Aguilar said.

Local media outlets reported that fans jeered UCLA players when the incident occurred. The Wildcats beat the Bruins 76-66.

UCLA officials knew of the incident and were reviewing it, university spokesman Scott Markley said in a statement.

“UCLA Athletics is committed to and expects the highest level of sportsmanship," the statement said.

Etienne, a redshirt freshman, was not in uniform and did not play in the game.

It wasn't immediately clear whether saliva landed on any fans but the misdemeanor assault charge alleges intent, Aguilar said.

“We did have a willing victim who did want to press charges," he said.

Etienne wasn't taken into custody or booked into jail but he will be expected to either appear in court on a future date or make alternative arrangements with court officials, Aguilar said.

“We had no reason to take him into custody," he said.

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