SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — San Francisco 49ers star linebacker Reuben Foster pleaded not guilty Tuesday to domestic violence and weapons charges and was ordered to return to court for a preliminary hearing later this month.
Foster, 24, was arrested on Feb. 11 when his then-girlfriend flagged down a stranger’s car to call 911 and told responding sheriff’s deputies and Los Gatos police that the NFL player had dragged her by her hair, threw her out of the house and punched her in the head eight to 10 times, leaving her bruised and with a ruptured eardrum.
The first-year linebacker is facing charges for domestic violence, forcefully attempting to prevent a victim from reporting a crime and possessing an assault weapon.
Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Nona Klippen ordered that a preliminary hearing on those charges should begin on May 17.
Foster’s former girlfriend Elissa Ennis has recanted her original allegations , stating that the injuries she reported to authorities were not caused by Foster, but rather by a physical fight in a road rage incident she had with another woman.
Ennis’ attorney Stephanie Rickard said her client told investigators that Foster had hurt her because he attempted to end his relationship with her after learning about the fight.
“She was extremely upset and told him if he broke up with her she would ‘trash his career,'” Rickard said in a statement.
A video of the altercation between the two women has been provided to the court and prosecutors.
Meanwhile, details of a report filed by Los Gatos-Monte Sereno police officers have also been released.
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In the report, officers said they found two weapons in the house — a loaded .38-caliber pistol and a Sig Sauer short-barreled rifle. The Sig Sauer was found on the floor of the bathroom with a loaded 30-round magazine and a round in the chamber.
Several officers also commented on the strong smell of marijuana they encountered upon entering the home.
The 49ers have said they would release Foster if the allegations proved to be true. He could also face a six-game suspension from the NFL if he is formally charged with domestic violence. A second charge could lead to a lifetime ban.
The latest arrest has continued a pattern for the 49ers. Despite changes in both the coaching staff and the front office, the team has had an ongoing problem with players getting into legal trouble.
17 players for the 49ers have been arrested since 2012, the most in the NFL for that period of time.
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