No. 8 Florida suspends freshman Porter after felony arrest
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) Florida freshman defensive back Deiondre Porter was suspended indefinitely Wednesday following his arrest for allegedly firing a gun in the direction of his pregnant girlfriend.
One of Florida's top special teams players, Porter was arrested Wednesday on four felony charges, including domestic violence enhancements. He is being held on a $160,000 bond in the Alachua County Jail.
The incident occurred at 2:15 a.m. on Sept. 29, three days after the eighth-ranked Gators beat rival Tennessee in Gainesville. Porter did not play the last two weeks.
The woman came forward Monday, nearly two weeks later, to report the incident.
''She said she was scared. She was dealing with a well-known UF football player and she was honestly terrified to come to the police and report it,'' said Officer Ben Tobias, a police spokesman.
The Gators announced Porter's suspension on Twitter, and coach Jim McElwain addressed it on the Southeastern Conference coaches call.
''He's no longer with the football team,'' McElwain said. ''He's suspended indefinitely for obviously a choice. It's his choice not to be with us. I'm sure you'll read about it soon enough. It's one of those things that we don't obviously condone. Like I said, it was his choice.''
The arrest happened two days after Florida quarterback Will Grier was suspended for one year for violating the NCAA's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. So the Gators are getting ready to play No. 6 LSU with two major distractions.
''I'm not sure anyone was prepared for any of it,'' McElwain said after practice Wednesday. ''The important thing is eliminate the clutter, take care of yourself, do your job and let's go focus and have a good time doing it.''
Porter also is the second Florida defensive back arrested in the last six months.
Cornerback J.C. Jackson was charged with three counts of armed robbery stemming from an April 18 incident in Gainesville. Jackson is no longer enrolled at Florida.
According to Gainesville police, Porter confronted his girlfriend of two years in the early hours of Sept. 29 and accused her of being romantically involved with a teammate.
Porter's girlfriend denied the relationship, according to the police report, and Porter later pointed a gun at her head and demanded she tell him the truth. The woman was 10 weeks pregnant, and police said Porter was aware of the baby.
The woman made numerous attempts to contact the teammate, and told Porter she would try again later in the morning. Porter and his girlfriend fell asleep in separate rooms, according to the report.
Several hours later, Porter resumed his accusations, became enraged and fired the gun in her direction, according to the report. The bullet lodged in the wall where she was leaning.
Porter left the apartment a short time later, according to the report.
Officers found a bullet hole in the wall near the front door and a .45-caliber shell casing under a chair in the living room.
A day after the alleged shooting, police came in contact with Porter during a traffic stop related to a drug investigation. The driver, a friend of Porter's, was found in possession of a .45-caliber handgun, 12 rounds of ammunition and 30.8 grams of marijuana.
Tobias said at the time police did not know about the shooting. ''It was purely coincidental,'' he said.
Police are now testing the bullet casing found at the scene and the gun recovered in the car to see if they match.
Alachua County court records show Porter is charged with one count of aggravated battery (second-degree felony), one count of firing a weapon into a vehicle or building (third-degree felony) and two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill (third-degree felony).
Porter also was charged with property damage of less than $200, a second-degree misdemeanor.
Porter has played in four games this season, registering two tackles.
Associated Press reporter Jason Dearen contributed to this story.
AP college football website: collegefootball.ap.org