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Assault charge dismissed against RB Drew

LOS ANGELES (June 19, 2006) -- An assault charge was dropped against former UCLA running back Maurice Drew, who had been accused of attacking a man in a restaurant nearly two months ago.

The case against two other defendants, Chicago Bears cornerback Ricky Manning Jr. and former UCLA running back Tyler Ebell, is pending.

The 25-year-old Manning has pleaded not guilty to assault and remains free on $30,000 bail. The 23-year-old Ebell is scheduled to be arraigned June 21 at the Airport Branch Courthouse.

The prosecution cited "insufficient evidence to proceed" against Drew, said Sandi Gibbons of the District Attorney's Office. The dismissal was granted by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Keith Schwartz.

The 21-year-old Drew was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second round. He helped UCLA to a 10-2 record and is the school's career leader in all-purpose yards.

Manning and Ebell are accused of an early morning attack on a man at a Denny's restaurant in Westwood on April 23. A day later, Manning signed a five-year, $21 million offer sheet with the Bears. The Carolina Panthers did not match the deal, but the team said the decision was not related to the arrest.

Manning is on probation for a similar offense in 2002 near the UCLA campus. That case was first dismissed and then refiled in 2003. If convicted in the latest case, he could face up to four years in state prison.

Ebell is also free on bail. He spent two seasons at UCLA, then transferred to UTEP following the 2003 season.

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