Former Florida defensive tackle Caleb Brantley, who is considered a potential first- or second-round pick in this week’s NFL draft, was charged on Friday with misdemeanor simple battery after he allegedly struck a woman and knocked her unconscious during a dispute earlier this month.
According to a sworn complaint obtained by ESPN from the Alachua County Clerk of Court in Gainesville, Florida, a woman told police that the 6-foot-2, 307-pound Brantley made crude comments toward her during an argument at a bar on April 13, and she then pushed him. The complaint said Brantley responded by “striking [her] in the face knocking her unconscious.”
The complaint said the woman, who is 5-foot-6 and 120 pounds, suffered dental injuries that “displaced a tooth and will require a root canal.” The complaint also said Brantley’s “use of force was clearly out of retaliation and not self-defense. Additionally, the intensity of [his] force far exceeded what was reasonable or necessary.”
A woman who told police that she was standing next to the victim during the dispute confirmed in the complaint that the woman was knocked unconscious by Brantley, and another woman who was there said she saw Brantley “strike the [woman] in the face with a closed fist knocking [her] unconscious.” The complaint said the second female witness identified Brantley as the man who threw the punch from a photo lineup.
Brantley didn’t immediately return a voice mail left on his cell phone. The woman referred questions to her attorney when reached on Sunday night. One of the female witnesses declined to comment.
The Independent Florida Alligator student newspaper first reported that Brantley was charged with a misdemeanor.
Brantley, 22, from Crescent City, Florida, is ranked the No. 4 defensive tackle and No. 55 prospect overall available in the NFL draft by ESPN’s Scouts Inc. The draft begins Thursday night in Philadelphia.
Brantley started 21 games for the Gators during his career, and had 20 tackles for loss and 5 ½ sacks the past two seasons combined.
The NFL has taken a tougher stance on domestic violence since former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was caught on camera punching his then-fiancée in an elevator in 2014. The league did not invite former Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon to the NFL combine after video surfaced of him punching a woman and breaking bones in her face.