De’Andre Johnson was one of the many F.S.U. replacements for Jameis Winston
Vanity Fair by Tina Nguyen
Florida State University’s football program is in the spotlight once again after quarterback De’Andre Johnson punched a woman in a bar. The incident was caught on security footage.
The state attorney’s office released the video, taken at a bar in West Tennessee. As The Tallahassee Democrat describes the footage, available here, the unnamed woman, waiting for a drink at the bar, “felt Johnson push past her aggressively”:
When she addressed him at the bar, she raised her arm to defend herself, and he grabbed her arm and began pushing her. She raised her knee into his midsection to push him away and attempted to punch him, court records say, before Johnson punched her on the left side of her face.
The woman suffered bruising near her left eye, swelling of the left cheek and upper lip, and a small cut near the bridge of her nose, according to court records.
Prosecutors added during a press conference that the woman still had a black eye as of Tuesday.
According to ESPN, the 19-year-old freshman from Jacksonville turned himself in to authorities and was released on $500 bond and charged with misdemeanor battery. In a signal that Johnson is ready to fight this charge, he has hired prominent defense attorney Jose Baez, whose most famous clients include Casey Anthony.
In a statement, Baez said that Johnson was simply trying to defend himself after the woman called him “racial epithets” and “kneed him in the groin area,” and swung at him again, provoking his punch.
While his client was very sorry for the incident, said Baez, “we certainly don’t want him to pay for the rest of his life for an incident that occurred in a bar.”
F.S.U. quickly suspended Johnson indefinitely for “undisclosed violation of team rules.”
The incident comes in the middle of civil proceedings against a former F.S.U. quarterback, Jameis Winston, who stands accused of forcibly raping a female student in 2012. Criminal proceedings against Winston, now a quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, were dropped due to a lack of evidence.