Former Gator Rainey accused of battery
Published: Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 12:22 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 4:35 p.m.
Christopher J. Rainey, a former Gator football running back, was accused by Gainesville police Thursday morning of simple battery — dating violence — according to a report.
This marks the second domestic-related incident for Rainey, who was arrested in September 2010 on a felony stalking charge while he was still on the University of Florida team.
The Pittsburgh Steelers, who drafted Rainey in the fifth round of the NFL draft last April, announced Thursday afternoon that they were waiving him from the team.
“Chris Rainey’s actions this morning were extremely disappointing,” Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert said in a statement. “Under the circumstances and due to this conduct, Chris will no longer be a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers.”
Rainey played in all 16 games this season for the Steelers. He rushed the ball 26 times for 102 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught 14 passes for 60 yards and returned 39 kickoffs for a 26.5 average.
Gainesville Police Department spokesman Ben Tobias said police received a 911 call from a witness about a verbal altercation that turned physical around 8:30 a.m.
According to an arrest report, Rainey, 24, from Lakeland, was visiting his girlfriend at her apartment when they started arguing after she noticed that he had a second cellphone, this one in his pocket, while she was hugging him goodbye.
She started questioning him about the second phone, and the report said Rainey ran behind the residence on Southwest 42nd Place and discarded the phone and left the area. A short time later, the report said, he returned to get the phone, but by then his girlfriend already had it, police said.
She got into her roommate’s car, but Rainey told the roommate not to leave. He opened the passenger door and tried to pull his girlfriend out, the report said. Witnesses told police they saw Rainey pulling on the woman’s arms, and then slapping her across the face with an open hand.
The girlfriend told Rainey she was going to call the police on him, and a witness said she feared more violence, so she dialed 911.
Rainey told police all he did was grab a bookbag that the phone was in, and said the two of them were tugging at it. Rainey said she voluntarily got out of the car and they both fell to the ground, at which point she got up with the bag and ran away. He caught up with her, the report said, and grabbed the bag again. They both fell to the ground a second time.
After he was arrested, Rainey admitted he argued over the phone, but denied slapping the victim and said they had no physical contact other than him grabbing at her bag to get the phone. He also said she never hit him.
The report said neither party suffered any visible injuries, and that Rainey and his girlfriend have been dating for nine months.
Rainey was booked into the Alachua County jail at 10:57 a.m. on Thursday. Simple battery is a first-degree misdemeanor, which typically does not require a first appearance before a judge to determine a bond for release.
However, because the offense is domestic-related, Rainey is being held without bond and is scheduled for first appearance Friday, according to Alachua County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Art Forgey.
In the previous incident, a woman fell asleep and missed a call from Rainey, according to reports. Rainey went to the woman’s home and talked to her for about 10 minutes before she told him to leave.
A GPD officer told The Sun that Rainey later sent a text to the woman that said “Time to Die (expletive deleted) u and ur.”
Rainey later agreed to a misdemeanor charge and got six months of probation.
Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.