Nature Coast quarterback Ja’Juan Story, a Florida oral commitment, was charged with misdemeanor battery Sunday night according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.
Story, who turned 18 on Aug. 9, told the St. Petersburg Times he was trying to break up a fight involving four women. Story said witnesses told police he hit one of the women, which he denies. Story said the woman in question told police he did not hit her.
According to a Hernando County Sheriff's report, that is not the case.
Statements taken from the victim and several witnesses all indicate Story punched the victim in the face, knocking her to the ground.
A 30-year-old witness told police Story "punched her like how he would punch a man." Story told the Times he was innocent.
“They said I hit the lady when I was breaking it up,” Story said. “The lady didn’t say that though.”
Story said he went to a home located at 13293 Mandalay Place in Spring Hill with one of the women he identified only as his brother’s girlfriend. The woman is Julisa Walker, 19, according to the report.
“They had knives and everything,” Story said in a phone interview Monday afternoon. “I was just breaking up a fight pretty much. ... All together there was four girls fighting. One had a stick, one had two knives and one had a box cutter. ... She cut me on my knuckle.”
According to the report, Story and Walker arrived at the victim's home after an online dispute between Walker and the victim's daughter.
The victim stepped between her daughter and Walker to prevent a fight, according to the report.
Walker pushed the victim with both hands, and Story walked from the back of Walker's car, took a box-cutting knife from Walker then punched the victim in the face striking her on the left cheek, the report states.
Walker used a "yellow box cutting knife to cut" the victim on the left forearm, the report states.
Story and Walker then left the scene. Police later caught up with the two. Story was issued a citation to appear in court Sept. 15. Walker was arrested and taken to jail.
Walker told police Story did not hit the victim.
Story told police when they arrived at the home people there threatened to cut Walker, and that he he did not hit the victim.
Story said his cut was minor and he planned to attend Nature Coast’s practice at 4 p.m. Story said he has spoken with Sharks coach Mark Nash and Florida assistant Dan McCarney.
Nash did not return message left by the Times seeking comment. Nature Coast athletic director Kristen Peeples said it was unclear if Story eligibility would be affected.
Story said McCarney thanked him for calling and gave him no indication his scholarship offer would be pulled by the Gators. Story orally committed to Florida last month and had 28 scholarship offers.