Another video of a football player hitting a woman has surfaced, and this time the athlete is former Florida State Seminole, De’Andre Johnson.
Johnson, who was named Mr. Football back in highschool, was released from Florida State’s football program after school officials saw the surveillance footage of their quarterback punching a young woman in the face. Johnson has also been charged with misdemeanor battery for his conduct.
The incident took place on June 24 at a bar in Tallahassee’s Yianni’s nightclub. In the footage, the 21-year-old woman, who is reportedly an FSU student, can be seen raising her fist to Johnson, who then grabs her wrist in what can either be viewed as a somewhat hostile reaction or an attempt to diffuse the situation. Onlookers claimed they could hear the woman yelling racial slurs at Johnson before she kneed him in the groin and struck him in the face. Only after this occurred, did Johnson punch the woman in the face, but there are little to no excuses for his violent response. The woman, who is claiming self-defense, suffered from bruising around the eyes and nose area, and suffered a cut above her lip.
Johnson’s lawyer,Jose Baez, submitted a written not guilty plea on July 2, and will strongly argue that his client was not the initial aggressor. However, after speaking with criminal defense attorney Nima Haddadi, he informed me that regardless who initiated the altercation, the judge will most likely not rule in favor of Johnson. He explained that the key words in this case will be “reasonable force,” in which he feels there was most certainly not enough to warrant Johnson blatantly punching this woman in the face. Instead, Johnson’s lawyer will most likely try and strike a deal.
Despite the not guilty plea, Baez stressed Johnson’s most sincere apologies and embarrassment regarding the incident.
He said, “He is very regretful that he didn’t turn and walk away immediately…all he wants to do is learn from his experience and move on and get an education.”
Johnson is currently participating in community service programs that focus on helping battered women,among other things, but it seems FSU President, John Thrasher, has his mind made up about the young man.
In a statement he released Tuesday, Thrasher writes: “I have no tolerance for the kind of behavior exhibited in this case. FSU was forged from an outstanding college for women and has a long tradition of being a caring community that demands students to be treated with respect.”
Johnson will make his first court appearance on July 22. We will keep you updated as more details on the story unfold.