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Wednesday, May 22
Updated: May 23, 8:32 PM ET
Ex-Cleveland State basketball players arrested

Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- Two former Cleveland State basketball players were charged Thursday in the armed robbery of Cleveland Indians pitcher C.C. Sabathia.

Damon Stringer and Jamaal Harris each were charged with aggravated robbery and kidnapping, Cleveland police Sgt. Bruce Cutlip said. He said some, but not all, of Sabathia's possessions have been recovered.

Stringer, who also played at Ohio State, and Harris are jailed awaiting an appearance Friday in Cleveland Municipal Court. Cutlip said police do not expect to make any more arrests in the case.

A recording of a 911 call that Sabathia made during the robbery last week was made public Thursday.

In the call, Sabathia told a dispatcher: "They took all my jewelry, everything. My money, everything. Somebody got to get here real quick, man.''

Harris and Stringer were arrested Wednesday without incident.

Police Sgt. Donna Bell said Stringer, 24, was arrested in Cleveland, and Harris, 23, was arrested in nearby Cleveland Heights. Their homes were searched and evidence was seized, Bell said.

Police had reviewed surveillance tapes from a Marriott hotel downtown, about half a mile from Jacobs Field.

Sabathia, 21, and his cousin, Chauncey Connors, 22, of Vallejo, Calif., were robbed at gunpoint about 4 a.m. last Friday at the hotel, where they attended a party with several people they met earlier in the evening.

Sabathia was robbed of $44,102 in cash and jewelry, including a necklace and earrings. No one was injured.

The former first-round draft pick was 17-5 as a rookie last season. He finished second in American League Rookie of the Year balloting to Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki.

Sabathia is the second Indians player to be the victim of a holdup in the last six months. Utilityman Jolbert Cabrera was shot in the buttocks in a carjacking in Colombia in December.

Stringer and Harris were teammates at Cleveland Heights High School.

Stringer, selected as Mr. Basketball for Ohio in 1995, was part of Ohio State's highly touted recruiting class that began play in 1995-96. He led the Buckeyes in scoring his two seasons there, and was chosen as Big Ten freshman of the year.

Stringer and teammate Trent Jackson were arrested in 1997 after a fight with police at an off-campus bar. Charges were dropped against both.

In 1998, Stringer pleaded no contest to assault charges and left Ohio State. Police said he attacked a motorist and caused $3,971 in damage to his vehicle by jumping up and down on the roof and hood. Stringer was fined $100, and given a suspended 30-day jail sentence.

Stringer has played basketball professionally in China and Argentina. Ken McFadden, a former Cleveland State player, said Harris and Stringer had been practicing recently at the university.

Harris was a fifth-year senior last season at Cleveland State. Before enrolling there, he led Cleveland Heights to the Division I state championship as a guard.

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