The once-promising career of running back Derrius Guice is in serious trouble.
On Friday, the Washington Football Team released the former LSU star, but it was the details surrounding his release that put jaws on the floor.
According to the Washington Post, the 23-year-old was arrested on domestic violence-related charges that include one count of strangulation, three counts of assault and battery and one count of destruction of property. Guice turned himself in at approximately 5 p.m. EST at the Loudoun Adult Detention Center in Leesburg, Va., and was released on bond shortly after at around 7:30 p.m.
“This afternoon we learned that there were multiple charges filed against Derrius,” Washington’s football team wrote in a statement on Friday. “Upon review of the nature of these charges and following internal discussions, we have decided to release Derrius immediately.”
Yet as terrible as this situation sounds, the charging documents, filed in Loudoun County General District Court on Monday, paint a far more disturbing picture of the assaults that took place on February 14, March 13 and April 17 at Guice’s home. (Trigger warning: the following includes graphic details of an alleged assault):
From the Washington Post:
Derrius Guice strangled his girlfriend until she was unconscious in his Ashburn home in March, according to charging documents. When she awoke, the NFL player was crying and tapping her.
The woman, who was only identified in court documents using initials, told authorities Guice also pushed her and pulled her hair during the encounter, according to the charging documents filed in Loudoun County General District Court on Monday.
After the March incident, the woman had to leave to catch a flight at Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport, according to the charging documents. She told investigators she was in a hurry and did not look in the mirror until she arrived for a layover in Chicago. The woman took a photo of her injuries in a restroom. She suffered bruising to her neck, which also had colored spots on it.
Guice’s girlfriend also told authorities the football player pushed her to the ground in his bedroom bathroom in February, causing an injury to her left thumbnail, according to charging documents. The nail eventually fell off because of a popped blood vessel.
In response to the charges, Guice’s attorney, Peter D. Greenspun, issued a statement condemning both investigators for their failure to properly examine the allegations.
“Derrius will defend these charges in court, where a full vetting of the allegations will take place, in contrast to actions by local law enforcement and the Washington Football Team that assumed the worst, directly contradicting every sense of fairness and due process,” he said.
In his first public comments addressing the situation, Washington coach Ron Rivera admitted that releasing Guice wasn’t an easy decision.
“Any time you have to release a very talented player it’s always a tough decision,” Rivera said. “We take those allegations very, very seriously and we had to make a decision. I talked to [Washington’s] players yesterday that I made a decision I believe was in the best interest of our organization and if it was the right decision we’ll benefit from it and if not it will be on me. I will take full responsibility going forward to make sure we do things the right way.”
Selected in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, Guice’s tremendous upside, efficiency in short-yardage situations and his second gear in the open field had scouts salivating. But questions about his durability and maturity caused him to fall into the second round.
In two seasons with Washington, Guice missed his entire rookie year with a torn ACL, only to tear his meniscus during his sophomore campaign.
It’s far too early to discern whether he’ll ever play another down in the NFL again (for every Ray Rice, there’s a Kareem Hunt still contributing to a team), but this serves as the latest blow to a Washington team having the worst offseason ever.
In July, the team was forced to relinquish its racist name after FedEx, PepsiCo, Amazon and other business partners finally drew a line in the sand, and later that month, 15 women accused former employees of sexual misconduct and verbal abuse.
But let’s not forget the real victim in all of this: The survivor of Guice’s alleged abuse. I commend her on her courage to come forward and hope she is able to achieve the justice she’s seeking.