The stepfather of Ole Miss offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil told police Tunsil was “riding around with football agents” before the incident that led to Tunsil’s arrest last week, reports The Clarion-Ledger.
Tunsil was arrested on Friday in Oxford, Miss., on domestic violence charges after allegedly assaulting his stepfather in defense of his mother. Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said in a statement acknowledging the arrest that the incident “involves Laremy defending his mother against his stepfather.”
Tunsil’s stepfather, Lindsey Miller, told Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department deputies on Thursday night that he and Tunsil’s mother, Desiree Tunsil, were arguing about Tunsil’s alleged contact with agents when Desiree Tunsil walked out of the house and Laremy Tunsil entered. The police reported obtained by The Clarion-Ledger says that when deputy Rudy Howell arrived at the scene Thursday night, Miller was “very excited” and told Howell that “Tunsil and the agents” left in a yellow convertible.
“We are aware that Laremy and his family have met with potential agents, which is within his NCAA rights as a student-athlete,” Freeze said in a statement to The Clarion-Ledger. “Regarding the altercation, we will continue to gather facts and cooperate with the proper authorities.”
Miller, 53, told police he attempted to give Tunsil a handshake, but Tunsil allegedly shoved him against a wall before starting to hit him. The incident report says four other men inside the house pulled Tunsil off Miller. Howell noticed a picture on the floor in the home’s hallway and “another decoration” crooked on the wall.
Tunsil, listed at 6'5" and 305 pounds, will be a junior for Ole Miss this season. He is widely considered a top NFL draft prospect for next year after receiving All-SEC honors last season.
Over his first two seasons at Ole Miss, Tunsil has appeared in 23 games. He sustained a dislocated ankle in the Rebels’ 42–3 loss to TCU in the Peach Bowl last season, but is expected to be ready for this season.
In his statement released on Saturday, Freeze said Tunsil and his mother had pressed charges against Miller. The Clarion-Ledger reported that as of Monday, both parties had pressed charges against each other.
“We can confirm that Laremy Tunsil turned himself in and was arrested for a misdemeanor, domestic violence-simple assault,” Freeze said in a statement to ESPN. “The incident occurred Thursday night and involves Laremy defending his mother against his stepfather.
“Laremy realizes he could have handled it differently, but I am proud of him for standing up for his mother and protecting his family. Laremy and his mother have also pressed charges against the stepfather. As we gather more facts, we will act and make decisions accordingly.”
- Mike Fiammetta