tampabay.com

Ex-cheerleader pleads guilty

Angela Keathley punched a woman in a bathroom at a Tampa restaurant in November. Now the former Carolina Panthers cheerleader will enter a program for first-time offenders and perform community service.

By CANDACE RONDEAUX
Published January 18, 2006


TAMPA - A former Carolina Panthers cheerleader pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges of disorderly conduct and obstructing a police officer, after admitting her role in a bathroom brawl at a Tampa restaurant late last year.

Angela Keathley, 26, made international headlines after Tampa police arrested her and another cheerleader Nov. 6 after a fight broke out at a popular Channelside restaurant and bar.

Police said the trouble began when Keathley and cheerleader Victoria Renee Thomas, tied up a restroom stall while having sex with each other at the restaurant and bar complex Margarita Mama's and Banana Joe's. Thomas later denied that she was having sex in the bathroom.

But bar patron Melissa Holden insisted that was what was holding up the line for the stall. Holden said Thomas punched her after she complained about the long wait, and has sued Thomas for damages over the incident.

Thomas and Keathley have since been fired from the Topcats cheerleading squad.

Keathley will remain on probation for six months and must perform 32 hours of community service as part of a pre-trial intervention program for first-time misdemeanor offenders.

Police charged Thomas with a felony after she identified herself to police using another cheerleader's driver's license. She was also charged with misdemeanor battery, and is expected to have a hearing on the charges next month.