Former Gator Chris Rainey arrested in Gainesville on a battery charge against his girlfriend
Former Florida running back/return specialist Chris Rainey was dismissed from the team by the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday hours after he was arrested in Gainesville on a charge of simple battery (dating violence).
According to a report from the Gainesville Police Department Rainey, who played for the Gators from 2008-11, and the alleged victim were in an argument over Rainey’s cell phone when the woman entered the vehicle of Rainey’s roommate, and he began to confront her on the passenger side of the vehicle, then began pulling her out of the vehicle.
Witnesses told police they observed Rainey slap the victim across the face with an open hand. Both Rainey and the female victim then fell to the ground. The victim was able to run away, according to the report, but Rainey chased after her because his cellphone was in a bag the alleged victim was carrying. Rainey grabbed the bag, and they both fell to the ground again. Neither Rainey nor the woman suffered visible injuries, according to police. Multiple witnesses confirmed the incident, according to the GPD report.
Rainey allegedly admitted to officers that he tried to grab the purse, but denied slapping the woman, with whom he has been dating for about nine months. He remained in the Alachua County Jail on Thursday awaiting first appearance Friday morning.
Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert said in a statement: "Chris Rainey's actions this morning were extremely disappointing. "Under the circumstances and due to this conduct, Chris will no longer be a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers."
Rainey graduated from Florida in December 2011 and was drafted by the Steelers in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He was predominantly a special teams player with the Steelers – he returned 39 kicks for 1,035 yards.