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Posted on Fri, May 24, 2013 : 3:35 p.m.

Michigan wrestlers accused of Molotov cocktail possession suspended indefinitely

By Pete Cunningham


Several fires, including the one above, were set on White Street the night of MIchigan's national championship loss to Louisville and Molotov cocktails were found in the vicinity.

Courtney Sacco | file photo

The two University of Michigan students accused of possessing Molotov cocktails on the night of the Michigan men’s basketball team’s national championship loss to Louisville are members of the wrestling team and have been indefinitely suspended.

Wrestlers Justin Dozier and Rosario Bruno, both 20, have been charged with two counts each of possessing/manufacturing explosives, a four-year felony, and were both arraigned on Wednesday in the 15th District Court. According to an athletic department spokesperson, head coach Joe McFarland was made aware of the case on Thursday night and the athletic department was informed on Friday morning.

“I can tell you that the coach was made aware of it last night and we were made aware of it today and that the two individuals have been indefinitely suspended,” said Michigan associate athletic director Dave Ablauf. “They have been indefinitely suspended from the team which means they are suspended from all team activities.”

Ablauf would not comment on whether the two are on scholarship or their status as students. He said the athletic department does not have a set protocol on athletes facing criminal charges.

“We take every incident on a case-by-case basis,” Abaluf said.


Rosario Bruno

Courtesy of the Washtenaw County Jail

Bruno, a Florida native, is coming off of a successful freshman campaign in which he placed seventh in the Big Ten Championships and qualified for the NCAA Championships. He went 2-2 at the national tournament at 133 pounds, falling just short of All-America status. He is enrolled in the college of Literature, Science and Arts, according to

Justin Dozier

Courtesy of Washtenaw County Jail

Dozier - a 2011 Michigan state champion for Woodhaven High School - started five duals at heavyweight for the Wolverines last season as a red-shirt freshman. He was a recipient of the U-M Athletic Academic Achievement Award as a freshman and is enrolled in the School of Kinesiology, according to

Ann Arbor police linked the two men to up to four Molotov cocktails in the 1100 block of White Street, where officers were called in the early morning hours of April 9 for a mattress fire, said Lt. Robert Pfannes.

Pfannes said the mattress fire was extinguished when police arrived, but officers who arrived on the scene that morning located a bottle with some sort of flammable liquid in it, popularly known as a Molotov cocktail. The subsequent investigation linked the two men to "up to four" of them, Pfannes said.

-- Crimes and courts reporter John Counts contributed to this report.

Pete Cunningham covers sports for He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @petcunningham.


John Counts

Tue, May 28, 2013 : 3:34 p.m.

Officials called them "Molotov cocktails." We are just reporting what police called them.

Brian Bundesen

Sat, May 25, 2013 : 12:16 p.m.

I agree with other posters that clarification on the incendiary device would be helpful. Use of the term "Molotov Cocktail" conjures up each individual readers' interpretation of what a MC exactly is. Very unfortunate and poor judgement by these young men in any case. I trust they've already learned a lesson, and hope they can move forward.


Sat, May 25, 2013 : 7:46 p.m.

Brian. We do not yet have proof that "these young men" did it. What if you were walking along White Street that night, holding a Mason jar of beverage alcohol and observed a mattress burning in the street. And you were busted. Would you be entitled to the presumption of innocence.? I think so. One thing I have learned from this comment board, over the months, is the "lynch mob mentality" remains embedded in the tribe of human beings; regardless of our cherished tradition of the due process of law.


Sat, May 25, 2013 : 12:25 p.m.

Yeah, but "Molotov Cocktail" makes a great headline so they'll keep riding it.


Sat, May 25, 2013 : 11:39 a.m.

they should be charged as terrorists. they put a lot people in danger.


Sat, May 25, 2013 : 10:42 a.m.

When are the due back in court? Some of readers might like to attend.

Pete Cunningham

Sun, May 26, 2013 : 6:47 a.m.

Per John Counts' original article reporting the arraignment of the two gentelemen: "The two men were freed on personal recognizance bonds and will appear in district court for a preliminary hearing on May 30."


Sat, May 25, 2013 : 10:40 a.m.

I wonder how this would have been handled differently had they been stars on the football team. I would draw a comparison with past events but the moderator would remove my comment. They will probably remove it anyway.


Sat, May 25, 2013 : 12:02 p.m.

If you are inferring that football players would not have been charged nor suspended I would have to disagree with you. There have been (too) many instances in the past where football players faced charges. What past events are you talking about?


Sat, May 25, 2013 : 10:31 a.m.

"a bottle with some sort of flammable liquid in it, popularly known as a Molotov cocktail" The state statute also requires that the bottle have a wick or fuse to make it a Molotov Cocktail. The name of Molotov Cocktail has been a prominent part of the headline of both of the stories that has written about this case. Don't you think it is important to find out if the objects in question were really Molotov Cocktails or just bottle containing flammable liquid. It would make the charge very different.


Sat, May 25, 2013 : 10:04 a.m.

When a major sport is cut from the Olympics, young men without necks have nowhere else to turn ...

Dirty Mouth

Sat, May 25, 2013 : 1:36 a.m.

Geniuses. U of M, way to go.


Sat, May 25, 2013 : 6:43 p.m.

Yep, the "leaders and best"...........


Sat, May 25, 2013 : 12:49 a.m.

Burn alcohol and it leaves no trace. Burn gasoline and you can find it deep down in the mattress after the fire is extinguished. That's the first lesson chapter in Arson 101. So if alcohol was the accelerant, all the authorities have to go on is some students had some Mason jars with alcohol in them. Mason jars are a common form of container for minors with alcohol. It's a piney woods tradition! So, unless the authorities have a confession or an eye witness to the torching, they have only bupkis (google it = Goat Manure).


Sat, May 25, 2013 : 12:40 a.m.

darwin awards. In the past, because of their status as 'athletes' it would've been written off as 'antics'. Not the brightest move in their life. Hopefully they learn from this experience, become a but more mature in their judgment and pick up the pieces and move on. Not easy, but worth it. I wish them well and hope they are humbled by the experience and become better young men for it.


Sat, May 25, 2013 : 12:51 a.m.

Bear would convict the young men without a trial. Hope Bear never gets wrongly acussed of anything . . .


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 11:12 p.m.

The riot on South U after the 1988 national championship was blamed on "outsiders from Ypsilanti". Perhaps they should claim they got the Molotov cocktails from "some dude from Ypsi".


Sat, May 25, 2013 : 12:44 p.m.

My bad, 1989. The championship game where future felon Rumeal Robinson sank the winning free throws from a phantom foul.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 11:37 p.m.

They were just early for the championship the next year.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 11:34 p.m.

What 1988 championship?


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 10:46 p.m.

Was the accelerant alcohol or was it gasoline? If gasoline, then a heightened concern is appropriate. Also, where is the Fire Marshal on this case?

John Counts

Sat, May 25, 2013 : 10:24 a.m.

Police would only say it was "a flammable liquid."


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 8:36 p.m.

They seem to have poor impulse control. If they also are particularly unlucky, some humorless men in suits representing one federal agency or another will lead them away from their next court appearance to a private Guantanamo-bound flight.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 8:24 p.m.

Someone in the earlier thread was amazed that kids who could qualify academically for UM would do something like this. Well, now we know how they got in.

Pete Cunningham

Sun, May 26, 2013 : 6:43 a.m.

My college roommate was a kinesiology major and a member of the wrestling team. These days you can find him in the Yellow Pages in the "Doctors" section.

Craig Lounsbury

Sat, May 25, 2013 : 1:59 p.m.

Back when the Ann Arbor News was a real paper they did investigative reporting. I realize times have changed and its hard to afford such things anymore. That is why the real Ann Arbor news no longer exists. Below is a link to a 4 part investigation they did on academics and sports. On day 2 of the 4 part series it starts with " Easiest road starts with kinesiology". That has been surpassed recently with "general studies".

Craig Lounsbury

Sat, May 25, 2013 : 1:46 p.m.

"Educated people make uneducated decisions all the time.' No not really. Thats why its news when it happens. It doesn't happen "all the time".


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 11:27 p.m.

Something tells me that these two individuals aren't as smart as Ted Kaczynski.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 10:09 p.m.

nvragain-How familiar are you with the Kinesiology programs? It seems that people automatically assume that since athletes are enrolled in the school that their programs are not truly academic but designed to keep athletes eligible. People go into programs because of their passion. Is it surprising that an athlete would have a passion programs involving movement science or sports management? My son is currently an athlete and in the school of Kinesiology and have found his program as demanding as other programs that we are familiar with at UM and other universities. He was told at orientation that Calculus I was the Mathematics goal for all students in Kinesiology and so completed that course before moving into the full program. The Kinesiology programs at UM are strong academic programs that are on par with many other programs at the University of Michigan and the students in those programs do not deserve to be looked upon as substandard!!


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 8:51 p.m.

Pete, he is taking classes as a freshman studying Kinesiology, need one say more.

Pete Cunningham

Fri, May 24, 2013 : 8:39 p.m.

Educated people make uneducated decisions all the time. May I remind you that the Ted Kaczynski, aka the Unabomber was a Michigan (and Harvard) Man. Dozier, who is innocent until proven guilty, was the recipient of an academic award last year so if he is found guilty the "dumb jock" stereotype certainly wouldn't fit in relation to academic performance. Being enrolled in a particular school does not mean someone is incapable of poor decisions, nor does being an athlete who makes a poor decision indicate that the person could not possibly cut the mustard academically.

Oscar Lavista

Fri, May 24, 2013 : 8:14 p.m.

This seems like harsh punishment for possessing alcohol.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 8:06 p.m.

Interesting. A comment calling for suspension (in the original story) was removed AFTER the two are suspended.

An Arborigine

Fri, May 24, 2013 : 8:04 p.m.

Shocked, I'm shocked to learn that UM student athletes could be involved!


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 7:56 p.m.

I posted a comment over 6 hours ago pointing this fact out, good timely reporting

John Counts

Sat, May 25, 2013 : 10:23 a.m.

We were aware of it as well, but it takes time to get information verified and confirmed and to get in touch with the people who do so.


Sat, May 25, 2013 : 1:05 a.m.

"...trespassed on the jurisdiction..." ? I'm sure the investigating agencies know respective "responsibilities" quite well. I doubt the investigators looked at the investigation as some sort of competition.


Sat, May 25, 2013 : 12:42 a.m.

AAPD has trespassed on the jurisdiction of AAFD Fire Marshal and State Police Fire Marshal! Those two agencies are the arson experts and they can get quick results from the State Police lab in Lansing. What does AAPD know about DNA evidence? On submissions from local police agencies, doesn't that take the State Police lab about 3 yrs to process? (judging by recent disclosures on the processing of Rape Kits) . . .


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 7:46 p.m.

Was there DNA on the mattress?


Sat, May 25, 2013 : 12:37 a.m.

Yep! Lots of DNA on the two decades old mattresses; but I doubt there was any DNA from the suspects. Unless they confess or there are eye witnesses to them setting a match to the accelerant; how are they going to be convicted? I have my "reasonable doubt."