TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – Two Carolina Panthers cheerleaders were arrested at a bar where witnesses told police the women were having sex in a restroom stall, angering patrons waiting in line.

Renee Thomas, 20, of Pittsboro, N.C., and Angela Keathley, 26, of Belmont, N.C., were taken to Hillsborough County Jail early Sunday.

Witnesses said the women were having sex with each other in a stall at the club in the Channelside district.

They were kicked off the team Monday for violating a signed code that bans conduct embarrassing to the team or organization, Panthers spokesman Charlie Dayton said.

Thomas was charged with battery for allegedly striking a bar patron when she was leaving the restroom, then landed in even more trouble after police said she gave officers a driver’s license belonging to another Panthers cheerleader who was not in Tampa.

Thomas, who made the trip to Florida for Sunday’s game between the Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was released from jail on $500 bail before police learned she was not the person she claimed to be.

Detectives were trying to determine how Thomas got the driver’s license of a third cheerleader.

Providing police with a false name is a misdemeanor. However, Thomas was charged Monday with giving a false name and causing harm to another – a third-degree felony punishable by probation or a jail term of 1 to 5 years, said police spokeswoman Laura McElroy.

Keathley, charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, was released on $750 bail about an hour before the Panthers played the Bucs at Raymond James Stadium.

The Panthers cheerleaders were not in town to perform at the game.

AP-ES-11-07-05 1852EST


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