Charlottesville police are investigating accounts that University of Virginia lacrosse player George Huguely V physically attacked a teammate last year because he suspected the player had a romantic interest in Yeardley Love, officials said.
Huguely, 22, allegedly entered his teammate's home and attacked him while he was sleeping, according to friends close to Huguely who spoke to the Washington Examiner on condition of anonymity.
"We did receive that account," Charlottesville Lt. Gary Pleasants confirmed Friday. He said investigators are in the process of verifying the altercation and determining whether it has relevance to Love's slaying.
The men's and women's lacrosse teams had been celebrating a victory late one night in February 2009, and Love left the bar with Huguely's teammate. Huguely later visited the player's home, attacked him in his bed, and left his face badly bruised.
Lacrosse Coach Dom Starsia disciplined the two players at the next practice, according to the Washington Post.
Huguely is being held without bond in Charlottesville, charged with first-degree murder in the death of Love, 22, who police said was fatally beaten.
Huguely and Love dated off and on over the past year and a half. They broke up several weeks ago, but partied in similar company hours before Love's roommate found her unconscious and battered, face down on her bed in a pool of blood.
Pleasants said the police department is being inundated with information indicating Huguely and Love had more than one violent encounter.
Police are also investigating accounts that Huguely and Love were involved in an altercation at a restaurant just hours before she was found dead in her apartment.
Pleasants said he did not know whether violence was involved.
"We're not going to go into any specifics" regarding different leads, he said.
Two months ago, one former and two current University of North Carolina lacrosse players broke up an altercation between Huguely and Love at a party, according to news reports. Pleasants said police had not heard of the incident.
"There are too many accounts, and we have half a dozen detectives working on it," he said.
Huguely was charged in November 2008 with resisting arrest and public intoxication after he threatened to kill a female police officer outside a Washington & Lee fraternity house. One month later, police were called when Huguely jumped from a 40-foot yacht off the coast of Palm Beach, Fla., after a heated confrontation with his father. In 2007, Huguely was charged with possessing alcohol as a minor.
University of Virginia President John Casteen said school officials were not aware of Huguely's arrest record. He said students are responsible for self-reporting off-campus arrests, and said the school needs to crack down on unreported incidents. As an initial step, Casteen has instructed the university to begin screening students against a state law enforcement database before the start of each semester.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said Thursday he will meet with Casteen to "study and fully consider every possible idea that could help prevent such a senseless crime from taking place in the future."