An offensive lineman for the University of Southern California was confronted Saturday morning by police officers who fired bean bag rounds at him after he got into an altercation with them, sources told NBC News.
Los Angeles officers responded to a man at around 8:45 a.m. PT (11:45 a.m. ET) who was possibly under the influence of drugs or alcohol, punching walls and windows, and injuring his hands inside an apartment in South Los Angeles near the USC campus, said the law enforcement sources close to the investigation.
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The man was identified as Chad Wheeler, a junior and an offensive lineman at USC. He ran out of the apartment after hitting at the walls and windows, the sources said.
Wheeler was confronted by officers, got into an altercation with them, and was hit with bean bag rounds. The sources did not go into detail about the exact nature of what led police to use bean bag rounds, a less lethal form of force.
He was not arrested, but was transported to a local hospital and is being held under protective custody for psychiatric evaluation.
No officers were hurt in the scuffle.
His girlfriend, with whom he has a 7-month-old child, was briefly detained and released. The baby was given to a family member.
USC is preparing to play Wisconsin in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 30 in San Diego.
Andrew Blankstein is an investigative reporter for NBC News. He covers the Western United States, specializing in crime, courts and homeland security.