Alleged Ballard attack victim speaks outWritten by Zach Davis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior Isaiah Ballard was removed from the University of Toledo football team after allegedly attacking Carlos Ruiz on May 15, breaking his jaw and bruising his face, throat and eye. Ballard has previously been convicted of a crime on seven different occasions since Sept. 2007.
Ruiz, a 23-year-old UT graduate in finance and current graduate student at Bowling Green, described the incident and what led to the confrontation for the first time publicly since it happened in an e-mail to the Toledo Free Press.
“The incident that took place on the 15th was extremely unfortunate,” Ruiz said. “Not only for myself but for Rocket fans all over the area. The following is my account of what took place that night which will contain the utmost honesty and accuracy.”
The confrontation occurred after 12:30 a.m. when Ruiz arrived at a friend’s house. Ballard, who was already present, and Ruiz began playing games with some of their friends. Ruiz said that they were socializing and even figured out that they both attended the same elementary school before a conflict ensued between Ballard and a female friend. He also claims that Ballard had been drinking.
Ruiz claims Ballard began calling the woman a “b—-” and she told him to leave. When Ballard refused to go, Ruiz stepped in.
“I know who to mess with and who not to mess with, and Mr. Ballard was not a guy I wanted to mess with,” Ruiz said. “I knew I had to be careful in how I approached him. I went up to him and calmly told him, ‘Hey man, you have to go. The party’s over and you called my friend a b—- and you can’t be doing that.’ At the blink of an eye, Mr. Ballard’s demeanor changed completely.”
Ruiz claims Ballard began to yell “What the f— are you going to do about it?” to him as he tried to tell him to relax and to calm down.
“I did not want to fight him and wanted to make sure he knew that,” Ruiz said.
In the house three females allegedly tried to defuse the situation by stepping between them but Ruiz claims Ballard “shoved the girls into the wall and the ground” before turning towards Ruiz.
“[He] began punching me in the face,” Ruiz said. “I was sent flying back and began pleading with Isaiah to please stop. He was not listening and once again approached me and hit me with another combo. This time I went down and he came over top of me and began kicking my face and throat.”
Ruiz said the three females each got up and pulled Ballard off of him but could not stop him as he came back again to hit him, landing approximately 10 punches and kicks to his face before he left the house.
Since the incident, Ruiz has been admitted to the Toledo Hospital. He had his jaw wired shut by a plastic surgeon on May 24 and it will remain that way for the next month to help it heal. He has also been on an all liquid diet.
“The pain has been terrible,” Ruiz said. “I never put a finger on Mr. Ballard, offended him or even raised my voice at him. His attack on me was completely unwarranted and now I’m painfully suffering the consequences.
“I hope Mr. Ballard realizes the severity of his actions and does not victimize anymore innocent people in the future. I trust justice will be served on my behalf.”
Ballard’s arraignment took place on May 25 where Thomas Lake posted $1,500 of his $15,000 bond. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 7 at 9 a.m.
Ballard started all 13 games last year for Toledo at the “star” position, a linebacker/safety hybrid, where he finished third on the team with 83 tackles to go along with two interceptions and five pass breakups. He also returned 15 kickoffs and was named Mid-American Conference Special Teams Player of the Week after returning three kicks for 103 yards and a touchdown against Ball State.