Florida State University

Florida State suspends former Miami Central star Dalvin Cook for allegedly punching a woman

Former Miami Central star and Florida State running back Dalvin Cook has been suspended indefinitely after becoming the latest Seminole to resort to violence against a woman.

The state attorney’s office in Tallahassee issued an arrest warrant for Cook Friday after he allegedly punched a 21-year-old woman in the face several times following an argument outside of a Tallahassee bar around 2 a.m. on June 23.

State attorney Willie Meggs told ESPN.com he found the victim, who is not a Florida State student, and another female witness to be “very credible” after he met with them Friday. Cook’s accuser, who identified him in a photo lineup with Tallahassee police investigators on July 1, reportedly presented Meggs photos of her injuries and said she wanted to pursue criminal charges.

A spokeswoman at the state attorney’s office told the Miami Herald that Meggs decided to approve the warrant after meeting with the victim and a witness, and that Cook, 19, would be charged with misdeamenor battery.

FSU released the following statement not long after news of the warrant for Cook surfaced: “Florida State Athletics announced today the indefinite suspension of sophomore Dalvin Cook from the football team following a misdemeanor battery charge. Athletics will have no further comment at this time.”

Calls by the Miami Herald to Cook and his former high school coach Roland Smith were not immediately returned.

Cook, the state’s Mr. Football Award winner in 2013 after leading the Rockets to a state title. Last season, Cook was FSU’s leading rusher with 1,008 yards and eight touchdowns as a true freshman. Earlier this week, he was named to the Maxwell Award watch list, presented annually to college football’s best player.

The woman who was allegedly punched by Cook told ESPN.com Friday she was approached by a man who was not Cook outside of Clyde’s and Costello’s shortly after the bar closed on June 23. The woman said the man asked for her phone number, which she refused to give him.

“I told him I had a boyfriend and wasn’t interested,” said the woman, who spoke to ESPN.com on the condition she not be identified. The woman said the argument became heated, and then Cook punched her in the face several times. Her friend ran to a nearby Tallahassee police car, which wasn’t occupied, so the woman called 911.

“They kept telling me they were football players,” the woman said. “They kept telling me to Google them. They told me they were football players and they could buy me in two years.”

In a heavily redacted incident report filed by Tallahassee police, the victim was listed as intoxicated and sustained minor abrasions and bruises from the incident.

The alleged incident occurred the night before former FSU quarterback De’Andre Johnson punched a woman at a different bar near the Florida State campus. Johnson was dismissed from the team Monday night by coach Jimbo Fisher, hours after the state attorney’s office released surveillance video showing Johnson punching a 21-year-old FSU student in the face.

Cook was also named in a 2014 aggravated assault case after two men he was with were alleged to have brandished a handgun at a neighbor. Cook was charged with criminal mischief and completed a diversion program this summer according to the Tallahassee Democrat.

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