Eighth-ranked Florida can add another distraction to the list before its pivotal matchup against No. 6 LSU on Saturday night.
After starting quarterback Will Grier was suspended Monday for violating the NCAA’s performance-enhancing drugs policy, Gators cornerback and special teams ace Deiondre Porter was suspended indefinitely following Wednesday’s arrest for allegedly firing a gun at his pregnant girlfriend of two years.
Porter, a 19-year-old redshirt freshman, is currently being held in Alachua County Jail on $160,000 bond and faces four felony charges, including aggravated battery, and two charges for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill. He also faces one second-degree misdemeanor, according to court records.
“He’s no longer with the football team,” UF coach Jim McElwain said. “He is suspended indefinitely for a choice, his choice not to be with us.”
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Although the incident occurred on Sept. 29, the victim didn’t come forward until Monday because “she was honestly terrified,” Gainesville Police Department spokesman Ben Tobias said.
According to the police incident report, on Sept. 29 at around 2:15 a.m., Porter angrily confronted his girlfriend, who he knew was 10 weeks pregnant at the time, over a potential relationship with a teammate. Porter accused his girlfriend of cheating, following her into a bedroom, pointing a gun at her head and “demanding she tell the truth.”
The victim maintained her innocence and made numerous failed attempts to contact the alleged teammate to prove she had not been romantically involved with anyone else.
Per the report, Porter and his girlfriend eventually went to sleep in separate rooms, but the next morning Porter continued yelling at the victim, growing further agitated. He then fired a handgun in the victim’s direction, with the bullet “striking the wall where she was leaning,” according to the police report.
Police later found a bullet hole in the wall and recovered a .45 caliber shell casing near where the victim alleged Porter shot the gun.
On Sept. 30, officers made contact with Porter in an unrelated incident. He was a passenger in a vehicle with a driver found to be in possession of two .45 caliber handguns and 30 grams of marijuana. The driver was arrested, but Porter was released on his own recognizance.
However, officers are waiting on a ballistics report to determine if the gun fired in the alleged victim’s apartment matches the guns found in the vehicle driven by Porter’s friend.
When asked if he has spoken to the team about guns, McElwain said: “We talk about that kind of choices and decisions is something that we talk about constantly. It’s like every day we meet. OK, there’s a man down. It was his choice. Choose what you want to do, right? Life’s full of choices.”
Porter was Florida’s starting gunner on special teams during the first four weeks of the season and was awarded the honor of wearing the big sombrero before the Tennessee game — McElwain’s symbol for a player’s importance during a particular week. Since the alleged incident, Porter did not play against Mississippi or Missouri.