USF running back Michel Dukes grabbed his romantic partner by the throat and struck the person in the head, according to a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office report obtained Wednesday by the Tampa Bay Times. The criminal report affidavit shines new information on Dukes’ arrest over the weekend, which made national news.
Dukes, 22, got into a verbal argument with the complainant — a romantic partner of about three months — at that person’s home between 3 and 7 a.m. Saturday, according to the document. The altercation eventually turned physical, authorities say, with Dukes grabbing the complainant’s throat with both hands for several seconds. He “then ripped the victim’s shirt off and struck the victim in the head” and spat on the person’s face.
Officers noted minor injuries to the side of the complainant’s neck and upper arm in their report.
Dukes was arrested just before 11 a.m. Saturday on a felony charge of domestic battery by strangulation. He was released from jail on $2,000 bond at 9:14 Sunday evening, according to the department’s records.
The 5-foot-10, 194-pound South Carolina native signed with Clemson as a three-star recruit before transferring to the Bulls after the 2021 season. He appeared in 11 games for USF last season and carried the ball 54 times for 188 yards. His five touchdown rushes were second on the team. He also caught eight passes for 72 yards and spent time as a kickoff returner.
The Bulls said in a statement Sunday that they were aware of the situation and had indefinitely suspended Dukes while they gathered more information and while “the proper authorities investigate the matter.”
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