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NC State dismisses troubled RB Shadrach Thornton from team after arrest for moped accident


RALEIGH, North Carolina — Shadrach Thornton's latest round of legal troubles will be his last as a North Carolina State football player.

Coach Dave Doeren said Wednesday afternoon he has dismissed the senior running back from the program. That came less than a day after Raleigh police arrested Thornton following an accident in which he struck a pedestrian while riding a moped on a sidewalk near campus and then left the scene.

An accident report stated the pedestrian suffered a facial injury that required stitches. Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said Thornton was later located at the parking deck of his nearby apartment and taken into custody without incident.

According to a magistrate's report, Thornton was charged Tuesday night with a misdemeanor of failing to provide his name, address and other personal information or "reasonable assistance" to the injured pedestrian. A traffic citation states Thornton is also charged with driving on the sidewalk and operating an unregistered vehicle.

Lee Turner, Thornton's Raleigh-based attorney, said Thornton cooperated with police.

"I understand that he was polite, cooperative and gave the officers a full statement about what happened," Turner said. "I understand that after the accident he did have a conversation with the victim before leaving the scene."

Still, the incident came on the heels of Thornton's return from a two-game suspension for a violation of athletic department policy. And that was the third career suspension for last year's leading rusher, with the first two coming after brushes with the law in 2013.

Athletics spokesman Fred Demarest said Wednesday morning that the school was gathering information on the latest incident and that Thornton was attending the team's morning practice but wouldn't be available for interviews.

PHOTO: North Carolina State running back Shadrach Thornton (10) carries for a touchdown against South Alabama during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015, in Mobile, Ala.(Mike Kittrell/AL.com via AP)
North Carolina State running back Shadrach Thornton (10) carries for a touchdown against South Alabama during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015, in Mobile, Ala.(Mike Kittrell/AL.com via AP)

Thornton sat out the 2013 opener during Doeren's first season after being charged with misdemeanor assault on female. Turner said previously that Thornton received counseling through a deferred-prosecution agreement that ultimately led to the dismissal of that charge.

In December 2013, Doeren indefinitely suspended Thornton after authorities cited him for misdemeanor simple possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Turner said charges were later dismissed, leading to his reinstatement during last year's training camp to avoid sitting any games.

As Thornton prepared to return from his suspension entering Week 3, Doeren was asked about the number of chances he's given Thornton, a native of Hinesville, Georgia. Doeren said then that Thornton had been "the best him that he's been since I've been here" and that he had learned from his mistakes.

"But if I felt like I couldn't help him anymore, he wouldn't be here," Doeren said then.

By Wednesday afternoon, Thornton had run out of chances.

"It's an unfortunate set of circumstances, but we've made the decision to dismiss Shadrach from our program," Doeren said in a statement. "We will continue to support him academically and help him earn his degree."

The school said Thornton is on track to graduate in the spring.

Thornton ran for 907 yards and nine touchdowns last season. He ran for 92 yards and a touchdown in his return against Old Dominion, then 111 yards and two scores in last weekend's win at South Alabama.

North Carolina State (4-0) hosts Louisville in its Atlantic Coast Conference opener Saturday.

Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap and the AP's college football site at http://collegefootball.ap.org.

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