UF suspends A.C. Leonard after arrest

Updated: February 16, 2012, 8:55 PM ET
By Michael DiRocco | GatorNation

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida tight end A.C. Leonard was arrested Wednesday and charged with misdemeanor battery after a woman alleged he shoved her, dragged her by her hair and threw her out of their Gainesville apartment. Leonard has been suspended from the team, the school announced.

Leonard, who caught eight passes for 99 yards as a freshman last season, is the ninth player arrested since coach Will Muschamp took over for Urban Meyer in January 2011.

"This behavior will not be tolerated and A.C. has been suspended from team activities at this time," Muschamp said in a statement. "I certainly don't condone this type of behavior. It is not what we expect from the University of Florida football program."

Police responded to a call made by a 21-year-old female Florida student at The Polos Apartments on Southwest Williston Road at about 8 p.m. ET Wednesday, according to Cpl. Angelina Valuri, the public information officer for the Gainesville Police Department.

The accuser, who said she had been dating Leonard for a year and a half but only living with him for a month, claimed Leonard assaulted her during a verbal argument, Valuri said.

The woman said the 6-foot-2, 245-pound Leonard shoved her with both hands in the chest and knocked her to the ground. As she was falling, the woman said she struck her head on a dog cage, according to Valuri.

The woman said Leonard, 20, grabbed her by her hair and dragged her toward the front door, ripping out chunks of her hair and breaking a necklace in the process. The woman said Leonard then grabbed her by both feet, dragged her out of the apartment and locked the door, Valuri said.

The woman had abrasions to her left forearm and right elbow, injuries consistent with being dragged on a carpet, Valuri said.

Valuri said Leonard was not at the apartment when police arrived because he was attending a tutoring session on campus. She said police made contact with Leonard on campus and arrested him at 9:15 p.m. ET.

Michael DiRocco covers Florida athletics for GatorNation. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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