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Florida wide receiver Chris Rainey arrested on suspicion of stalking

GAINESVILLE — Florida junior wide receiver Chris Rainey was suspended indefinitely from the team Tuesday after his arrest on charges of aggravated stalking dating violence, a third-degree felony.

"Chris Rainey is not a part of our team right now," Florida offensive coordinator Steve Addazio said Tuesday afternoon.

Rainey, 22, was released on his own recognizance Tuesday morning after his alleged victim told Alachua County Judge Denise Ferrero she never meant for Rainey to be arrested and did not fear for her safety. As a special condition of his release, Rainey cannot have any contact with her and must adhere to a 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew.

Instead, the woman said it's the public she fears.

"I'm having people from all over the country calling my cell phone," she told the judge. The St. Petersburg Times is not identifying her at this time to avoid potential retaliation.

Rainey was arrested at 3:15 a.m. Tuesday after he went to the woman's home when she didn't answer a call. According to police reports, Rainey began texting the woman with messages that included, "you don't care about me." She and Rainey have dated on and off for about three years, according to police reports.

He later went to her residence, police said, and the two talked for about 10 minutes before Rainey became "irate." After she asked Rainey to leave, he later texted, "Time to Die (expletive) u and ur???". Rainey admitted sending the text after he was read his Miranda rights. Police reports say the woman called police after receiving the final text.

But in open court Tuesday morning, her sister said she called police, and she did so only to defuse the situation.

"I did not want to have him arrested last night," the woman told the judge. "They asked me if I wanted him arrested, and I said no. And they were going to drop everything, and then they came back and said there was some new law that came out and they have to arrest him. And I said I will sign anything that I have to, I do not want him arrested. I've known him for a long time, he's never been in trouble, he doesn't drink, he doesn't do drugs. I don't feel safety issues from Chris."

A starting wide receiver for the Gators, Rainey suffered a concussion in Saturday's game against South Florida but was expected to be ready to play this weekend when Florida travels to Tennessee. His status for the game now is unclear.

Florida wide receiver Chris Rainey arrested on suspicion of stalking 09/14/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 8:44pm]
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