The Florida State Seminoles dismissed freshman quarterback De'Andre Johnson after he punched a 21-year-old woman in the face at a Tallahassee, Fl. bar last month.
The Florida State Seminoles have dismissed freshman quarterback De'Andre Johnson.
According to a July 6 ESPN update from Mark Schlabach, Seminoles head football coach Jimbo Fisher dismissed Johnson on Monday just hours after the state attorney's office released video surveillance footage showing him punching a woman in the face at a bar in Tallahassee, Fl. last month.
Schlabach's sources told him FSU officials saw the video on The Tallahassee Democrat website on July 6. Prior to releasing Johnson, Fisher had been on vacation in West Virginia.
Authorities charged Johnson, 19, with misdemeanor battery after he hit the 21-year-old woman on June 24. Police arrested him six days after the incident and then released him on a $500 bond, per Schlabach.
The Seminoles suspended him indefinitely afterward, per ESPN.
Schlabach obtained a statment from FSU president John Thrasher regarding Johnson's release on Monday:
"While it is always important to adhere to due process, having now seen the physical altercation captured on video, there is no question in my mind that Coach Fisher made the correct decisions.
"I expect all students at Florida State University, including student-athletes, to adhere to the highest level of conduct. I have no tolerance for the kind of behavior exhibited in this case.
"Florida State University was forged from an outstanding college for women and has a long tradition of being a caring community that demands students be treated with dignity and respect."
Court records reveal it all started when the woman was in line for a drink at Yianni's nightclub. Johnson went past her but she felt him pushing her in an aggressive manner, per Karl Etters of The Tallahassee Democrat.
The woman then called him out and then she "raised her arm to defend herself," Etters says. Johnson then grabbed her arm and started to push her. She put her knee up to his midsection in an attempt to push him and then tried to punch him.
Johnson then punched her in the face, per The Tallahassee Democrat.
Etters says the woman "suffered bruising near her left eye, swelling on the left cheek and upper lip, and a small cut near the bridge of her nose, according to court records."
The woman's lawyer, Willie Meggs, told The Tallahassee Democrat his client still sported the black eye when she met with prosecutors on July 7.
Meggs told Etters he decided to charge Johnson after he saw the surveillance footage. As for the woman, she agrees. She will proceed with battery charges against the freshman quarterback.
"She's a good witness and she wants to testify," Meggs told The Tallahassee Democrat on Monday. She's a little nervous about it."
On the other hand, Johnson's lawyer, Jose Baez, told NBC's "The Today Show" (via Schlabach) on Tuesday he punched the woman after she used a racial slur in calling him out. Baez added Johnson is "owning this" and trying to learn from what he did.
Baez told NBC the woman put her fist up and yelled "racial epithets" after Johnson after he unintentionally made contact with her at Yianni's. He stresses Johnson tried to "de-escalate the situation" but she hit him with her knee in the groin and swung at him before he decided to retaliate, per Schlabach.
Baez told "The Today Show" Johnson just tried to defend himself after the woman became aggressive, per ESPN:
"It wasn't until she struck him twice that he reacted. But he is very...he is very regretful that he didn't turn around and walk away immediately.
"He makes no excuses for what happened. All he wants to do is learn from this experience and move on and get an education. We certainly don't want him to pay for the rest of his life for an incident that occurred in a bar."
De'Andre Johnson's attorney filed written not guilty plea July 2. He has case management hearing scheduled for July 22 in Leon County Court— Mark Schlabach (@Mark_Schlabach) July 7, 2015
Schlabach says the woman is also an FSU student.
Etters stresses Florida state law only allows the redaction of a victim's name in writing at his or her request in cases involving sexual assault, child abuse and conflicts in domestic relationships.
Tallahassee Police Department spokesman David Northway explained this in greater detail in a phone interview with Etters on Tuesday:
"We are treating this case like all other cases.
"We redacted it, per Florida statute. And we had to release the victim's name because she did not fall into an exemption, and we're not allowed to just take their names out. And we had to -- we had -- to redact the suspect's name in the case because it's an ongoing investigation."
Jackson was dubbed as Florida's "Mr. Football" in his senior year at First Coast High School in Jacksonville, Fl., per Schlabach.
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