"I'm not going to let you all say this guy [Tuaua] is a bad person," Patterson said Tuesday during his weekly news conference. "If he made a mistake, he made a mistake.
"It's not even close to what happened south of here."
Patterson, presumably, was referring to former Baylor defensive end Sam Ukwuachu, who was convicted last month of sexually assaulting a former Baylor soccer player in October 2013.
Ukwuachu transferred to Baylor after being dismissed by then-Boise State coach Chris Petersen in 2013.
Baylor coach Art Briles and the university came under scrutiny when Ukwuachu's former girlfriend testified during trial that he struck and choked her while he was attending Boise State. Briles denied having knowledge of Ukwuachu's violent past. His former girlfriend did testify that she never told police or university officials about the abuse. Boise State officials have also said they were unaware of the assertions.
Tuaua and backup wide receiver Andre Petties-Wilson have been accused of kicking and punching another TCU student and stealing a case of Keystone Light beer on Sept. 4. Both players have been suspended from the program.
Tuaua, a senior, had not played in TCU's past two games. He started five games for the Horned Frogs last year and was expected to play a key role along the defensive line this year.
"You've never ever heard me speak up for a kid if he did wrong ever, but you did now," Patterson said of Tuaua. "Outside in our community with the kids, he's the most-liked kid we have on our team besides [quarterback]Trevone Boykin.
"We'll find out what the facts are, and those will some day come out."
The third-ranked Horned Frogs travel to Texas Tech this weekend.
Mike Tuaua has Gary Patterson's support
TCU coach Gary Patterson talks about Mike Tuaua being arrested on a felony complaint of robbery and bodily injury, and says "if he made a mistake, he made a mistake."
TCU's defense stricken by arrests, off-field issues
Joe Schad discusses TCU's approach to the arrests of DE Mike Tuaua and WR Andre Petties-Wilson on robbery charges and coach Gary Patterson's response.