Steelers waive Chris Rainey
The Pittsburgh Steelers waived running back Chris Rainey on Thursday after he was arrested in Gainesville, Fla., and charged with one count of simple battery after an altercation with a woman over a cellphone earlier in the day.
"Under the circumstances and due to this conduct, Chris will no longer be a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers," Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said.
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The Steelers sent a swift message to their current and future players by waiving Chris Rainey only hours after his arrest, writes Jamison Hensley. Blog
According to a release from the Gainesville police department, officers were called at 8:26 a.m. to an apartment complex on SW 42nd Place regarding an argument between a man and a woman that had turned physical. Witnesses said Rainey and the female accuser were arguing over Rainey's cellphone and Rainey pulled the woman out of a vehicle that belonged to his roommate and then slapped her in the face with an open hand.
Rainey and the woman fell to the ground, and then Rainey chased the woman and grabbed her bag to retrieve his cellphone, the release said. The two fell again. The release said neither Rainey nor the woman suffered visible injuries.
Police charged Rainey, a former standout at the University of Florida, with simple battery (dating violence), a first-degree misdemeanor, and he was booked into the Alachua County Jail.
Pittsburgh selected Rainey in the fifth round of the 2012 draft. He ran for 102 yards and two touchdowns, caught 14 passes for 60 yards, and averaged 26.5 yards on 39 kickoff returns in his first season with the Steelers. A call to a Steelers spokesman seeking comment was not immediately returned.
It is not the first domestic violence arrest for Rainey, who just finished his rookie year with the Steelers. He was arrested Sept. 14, 2010, while at the University of Florida after sending a threatening text message to his on-again, off-again girlfriend that read: "Time to Die B----- u and ur???" Rainey was charged with felony aggravated stalking.
Then-coach Urban Meyer immediately dismissed Rainey from the team.
Thirteen days after his arrest, Rainey pled to a misdemeanor stalking charge and received deferred prosecution. He was ordered to pay $50 for the cost of prosecution, undergo evaluation and counseling for anger management/domestic violence issues, and either donate $100 to a domestic violence shelter or perform 10 hours of community service.
The charges were to be dropped if Rainey met those requirements and stayed out of trouble for six months. Spencer Mann, a spokesman for the state attorney's offense in Gainesville, said Rainey completed the agreement and the case was closed.
Rainey eventually rejoined the football team on Oct. 10, 2012. He finished his career at Florida ninth on the school's all-time rushing list (2,464 yards).
The Steelers drafted him in the fifth round of the 2012 draft.
ESPN AFC North blogger Jamison Hensley and GatorNation's Michael DiRocco contributed to this report.
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