Monday, July 16, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL draft prospect Caleb Brantley charged with punching woman in face

Just days before he was expected to be an early round pick in the NFL draft, former Florida defensive lineman Caleb Brantley faces a misdemeanor battery charge on a complaint that he knocked a woman unconscious in a fight earlier this month.

The charge filed Friday appears to be a complete reversal from the first report by the Gainesville Police Department, which listed Brantley, 22, as the victim in an early morning altercation on April 13. But that's because the initial report was wrong, according to the woman's attorney, North Florida Lawyers' Michael Williams. He said that report was falsified and that Gainesville police told him the officers listed on that report were not involved.

According to the latest report, written April 17 and filed in Alachua County court Friday, the incident began when Brantley made crude comments toward the woman, UF student Chelsea Austin. She then pushed Brantley, who responded by striking her in the face and knocking her unconscious, the report said. The damage included a displaced tooth that will require a root canal. The initial police report said the woman had blood around her tooth but did not say she was knocked out.

In a statement Sunday night, Williams said Brantley knocked Austin, who is 5 feet 5 and less than 130 pounds, to the ground. He said she was hospitalized and that she is still undergoing "extensive medical treatment."

The court record states that Brantley's action was "clearly out of retaliation and not self-defense" and "far exceeded what was reasonable or necessary."

In a phone interview, Williams declined to speculate on what exactly happened with Gainesville police or why. He said Austin has been harassed and pressured on social media to drop the case.

"I think it's fair to say that it was traumatic for Ms. Austin, who was a victim in the case, to be threatened and receive hateful speech and remarks on social media as a result of that police report," Williams said.

A Gainesville police spokesman did not return a request for comment.

"Caleb Brantley was the victim the night this happened, and he is still being victimized," said his attorney, Huntley Johnson.

The 6-foot-3, 307-pound Brantley of Crescent City was second-team All-SEC as a redshirt junior and left UF with 81 tackles, 20½ for a loss. He's one of the top defensive tackle prospects in the draft, which begins Thursday.

Contact Matt Baker at [email protected]

Comments
Jimbo Fisher: ‘I love Jameis…unfortunately he made some bad decisions’

Jimbo Fisher: ‘I love Jameis…unfortunately he made some bad decisions’

ATLANTA — Jimbo Fisher defended every step of the way at Jameis Winston at Florida State, so it shouldn't be a surprise that he continues to back his former quarterback, even though both have moved on.Fisher, now the coach at Texas A&M, sa...
Updated: 5 hours ago
What DeSean Jackson needs to break a Jerry Rice NFL record

What DeSean Jackson needs to break a Jerry Rice NFL record

We're close enough to the 2018 NFL season that we can start talking about records that could be broken in the normal course of the Bucs' season ahead.DeSean Jackson has a chance to break one of Jerry Rice's career NFL records. No, not the 197 career ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Tony Dungy on Jameis Winston: ‘He knows the right things to do’

Tony Dungy on Jameis Winston: ‘He knows the right things to do’

Former Bucs coach and current NFL analyst Tony Dungy said Friday that quarterback Jameis Winston's three-game suspension is disappointing, but he still hopes the 24-year-old can learn from his mistakes moving forward."Obviously, it's disappointing, a...
Published: 07/13/18
Mom appreciates ‘surprising’ Winston interaction with kids after workout

Mom appreciates ‘surprising’ Winston interaction with kids after workout

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston continues to be a complicated study in the off-field behavior of pro athletes, doing things that draw criticism and praise, sometimes even in the same hour.Winston drew criticism from some fans today for posting video ...
Published: 07/13/18
Pro Football Focus: The Earth is a cold, dark place and the Buccaneers are really, really bad

Pro Football Focus: The Earth is a cold, dark place and the Buccaneers are really, really bad

So training camp is less than two weeks away, and you're beginning to feel hopeful. Why not the Buccaneers, right?To which Pro Football Focus might respond, "We'll tell you why not."The analysts at the website are not high on the revamped offensive l...
Published: 07/13/18
Flashback: 1979 Bucs defense had ‘Mount Crushmore’

Flashback: 1979 Bucs defense had ‘Mount Crushmore’

As we roll out our own choices for "Mount Rushmore" honors for Tampa Bay sports teams, one of our readers was reminded of a similar treatment for the Bucs defensive line nearly 40 years ago.Sue Avery of Wesley Chapel e-mailed to share a photo  o...
Published: 07/13/18
Here’s our Mount Rushmore of Bucs

Here’s our Mount Rushmore of Bucs

The selection process for a Mount Rushmore of former Bucs players— part of a project from the Times Sports department that includes an overall Mount Rushmore of Tampa Bay athletes — is first incredibly easy, and then exceedingly diff...
Published: 07/13/18
Lawsuit accuses Jaguars’ Marcell Dareus of sexual assault in Lutz

Lawsuit accuses Jaguars’ Marcell Dareus of sexual assault in Lutz

Jaguars defensive tackle Marcell Dareus is facing two separate lawsuits accusing him of sexual assault, including one from an alleged incident in Lutz in January 2017.The same week that Alabama's football team played Clemson in Tampa for a national c...
Published: 07/11/18
As camp nears, Jameis Winston working out with Randy Moss

As camp nears, Jameis Winston working out with Randy Moss

Bucs veterans report for training camp in exactly two weeks, and quarterback Jameis Winston was preparing Tuesday by working out with a group of NFL receivers and Hall of Famer Randy Moss.Fox 13 TV posted video of Winston working out at Skyway Park, ...
Published: 07/11/18
Sports on Twitter: Which pro teams have seen largest growth?

Sports on Twitter: Which pro teams have seen largest growth?

Two years ago, we took a close look at the official Twitter accounts for all teams in the four major pro sports leagues — NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL — to compare the followings and see which had the best reach in social media.That gave us a wi...
Published: 07/10/18