TAMPA – Two professional hockey players and a man who may have played professional basketball were arrested outside a South Tampa nightclub early this morning, police say.
The hockey players, who identified themselves as members of the Montreal Canadiens, were arrested about 3 a.m. outside Whiskey Park, 720 S. Howard Ave.
Police say defenseman Ryan O’Bryne stole a woman’s purse and teammate Thomas Kostopoulos resisted an officer.
The Canadiens are scheduled to play the Tampa Bay Lightning in Tampa on Tuesday night.
O’Bryne, a 23-year-old rookie, played 11 games with the Canadiens this season, according to the team’s Web site. Kostopoulos, 29, plays right wing.
This morning’s incident started when a woman inside Whiskey Park set her purse on a countertop, a Tampa police report states. She noticed it missing and alerted security officers, who saw O’Bryne outside holding the purse in one hand and the woman’s cell phone in another.
O’Bryne told police it was his girlfriend’s purse.
When an officer “asked what her name was, he could not give a name,” the report states.
Police determined the purse belonged to the woman at the bar, who told police she didn’t know O’Bryne, according to the report. O’Bryne was detained and placed in the back seat of a police car.
“Several associates, who were identified as National Hockey League players/members, crowded around the officers and police car,” the report states. “They were told numerous times to get away from the police car and not to interfere.”
O’Bryne was charged with grand theft, and Kostopoulos was charged with resisting an officer without violence. The men had NHL identification cards in their possession, police say.
The purse – missing $20 – and the cell phone were returned to the woman, according to the report.
O’Bryne’s bail was set at $2,000, and Kostopoulos’ was set at $500. Both have been released.
The team will not comment on the arrests until after its 4 p.m. practice today in Tampa, said Donald Beauchamp, a team spokesman. He said it’s impossible for him to tell at this point whether O’Bryne and Kostopoulos will practice today.