2 Former Grizzly Football players, 3 others arrested in connection to violent armed robbery
MISSOULA, Mont. - ***UPDATE***
Two of the people arrested in connection to a violent armed robbery are former University of Montana football players.
According to unnamed sources, Devon Kamaka, Ikaika Kamaka, Cruz Bernardi, Timothy Parks, and Andrew Badger are all suspects in Tuesday's armed robbery at Jay's Mart in south Missoula.
Parks was later released Thursday after posting a $10,000 bail, and the remaining four are being held at the Missoula County Detention Center.
According to the University of Montana's website, Badger, 25-years-old, was a senior in 2010 and played as a starting strong safety for the Grizzly football team. Parks is listed on the 2007 Grizzly football roster as playing cornerback.
NBC Montana confirmed Wednesday morning that law enforcement officials have at least 4 suspects in custody in connection to an armed robbery and assault that occurred at a Missoula convenience store on Tuesday.
According to surveillance video acquired by NBC Montana, three men, armed with baseball bats, entered Jay's Mart on 39th Street and Reserve around 4:20 a.m., struck a store employee on the head several times, and stole the cash drawer.
The attack left 31-year-old Patrick Bendig hospitalized with a skull fracture that required surgery to insert a metal plate.
The owner of Jays Mart confirmed that Missoula police notified him Wednesday night they had made several arrests in connection to the robbery and assault.
A fund has been set up for Bendig, who remains hospitalized. To help, go to any Mountain West Bank and make a donation in Patrick Bendig's name.
NBC Montana caught up with University of Montana Western athletics spokesperson Kent Ord who said the team has made great strides under coach Ryan Norris to make sure the program is "squeaky clean."
"We want our student athletes to represent the university in a way that's extremely appropriate," said Ord.
We also met with University of Montana Director of Athletics Kent Haslam who said it's extremely frustrating to see former Griz football players accused of involvement in such a brutal crime.
"It rings contrary to everything that I believe personally and everything that this university and this athletic department stand for," said Haslam. "Once you're a Griz you're always going to be connected and the decisions that you make reflect back on hundreds and thousands of student athletes, former student athletes and this university."