TE A.C. Leonard arrested for domestic battery

By Adam Silverstein
February 16, 2012

Updated at 7:45 p.m.

Florida Gators freshman tight end A.C. Leonard was arrested Wednesday night for misdemeanor domestic battery and suspended from the team indefinitely by head coach Will Muschamp Thursday evening.

Leonard, who had an altercation with his girlfriend of 17 months (the two have lived together for about one month), was booked into jail Wednesday night and appeared in court for the first time Thursday morning before being released on his own recognizance.

From The Gainesville Sun:

According to the report, the couple had been arguing around 7:20 p.m. Wednesday when Leonard, “shoved her forcibly with both hands in her chest/neck area. The force of the shove knocked her down to the ground, causing her head to strike a dog cage that was behind her.”

The woman told [Officer Amanda] Prince that Leonard told her to get her belongings and leave, then followed her into the bedroom where he grabbed her by her hair and tried to drag her out of the apartment. According to the arrest report, when the woman resisted, Leonard, “Grabbed her by both feet and pulled her out of the apartment,” then locked her out of the apartment.

Being represented by Gainesville, FL attorney Huntley Johnson, Leonard will not be allowed to have any contact with the woman by judge’s orders and must find a separate place to live at least until the court makes a judgment on his case.

Leonard, who is facing a first-degree misdemeanor for his actions, refused comment when he was arrested, only telling police: “I never hit her. I just wanted her to leave.”

It is Leonard’s first arrest as a Florida football player and the 10th since Muschamp took over the Gators in January 2011.

“This behavior will not be tolerated and A.C. has been suspended from team activities at this time,” Muschamp said. “I certainly don’t condone this type of behavior — it is not what we expect from the University of Florida football program.”

Of Florida’s other nine arrests since Muschamp arrived, eight were for either underage drinking or marijuana possession with one coming for driving with a suspended license and resisting arrest. Three of the eight players previously arrested are no longer with the Gators football program.


  1. Gators2005 says:

    First off, hitting a woman is unacceptable.

    Isn’t it strange that people look down on Meyer and Muschamp for recruiting and coaching someone, but in two years when another coach recruits and signs him out junior college everything is forgiven/forgotten? (Looking at you Chizik and Nutt)

    • Tractorr says:

      America loves the redemption story. Of course there are scumbags like the Vick brothers who never seem to learn (I will put money on Mike having another run in with the law before the end of his career, any takers?).

      • Mr2Bits says:

        Not really following your comparison of Vick to Leonard or the fact that you are insinuating that he is not reformed and a habitual offender. Not that I have intimate knowledge of his private life, but I would be willing to say that Vick has made a 180 both as player and person.

        • Tractorr says:

          I wasn’t exactly comparing Leonard to Vick. I was using Vick as an example of someone who has done something that most sane people would agree was pretty vile, and then all has been more or less forgotten after he got back out on the football field. Also, the term “put money on” generally refers, in American culture, to a gamble implying that he may or may not have a run in with the law. I severely doubt that Mike Vick would be involved in dog fighting again because I don’t think he is an idiot. Instead, I am proposing that certain people (in this case Mike Vick) have a need to push limits and are not satisfied with what they have been blessed with.

    • mark says:

      I agree, but no one was “hit” in this case

  2. Ken (CA) says:

    Good thing we recruited a couple of good tight ends this year, looks like they will be seeing action sooner than expected.

    Funny that he would comment that he never hit her. Nothing in the complaint i read said he hit her, he did just about everything but hit her.

    If any of this proves to be true, I hope Muschamp takes a hard line and gives him the boot. This is just rediculous how these kids can’t get it together and understand how lucky they are. Immaturity is one thing, but when they see the consequences when others do these things and they continue to do it, that is just another entitled athlete that thinks he is above the law.

  3. David says:

    It wouldnt be an offseason without an arrest. Kick him off the team — you dont hit a woman

  4. zurbo says:

    I wish I could say I am shocked. let’s face it, they are football players, not rocket scientists.

  5. Eli says:

    Bye bye, A.C.!

  6. mark says:

    How about we wait and let this play out? I don’t see the point of jumping to conclusions based on a he said she said.

    • ncgator says:

      Yea, let’s not jump to conclusions. He only pushed her down and dragged her out by the hair. What’s the problem?

  7. Joe says:

    I’d like to hear all the details before jumping to any conclusions but it’s awfully hard to believe that he will have much of a defense for his actions. It is truly a shame as he is a dynamic player and could have made huge steps next season.

    • CeeThree says:

      agreed, it reads pretty bad, but it is a misdemeanor and not a felony. I’m glad I’m not the coach in these situations, tough call.

      • Joe says:

        In a perfect world, nothing should justify forcibly removing someone from your property. But people have been known to do some pretty scandalous things and you never know what triggered his reaction. She could have stolen his pop tart or just told him she cheated on him with his best friend and gave them both Herpes. (

      • Joe says:

        Just an example, s#*& happens) We don’t know what set him off and sometimes that’s pretty important in deciding how to treat the situation.

        • Tim says:

          Definitely. It’s important to find exactly what happened, until then I don’t think you should cast judgement.

          Was she in his face arguing? Would she not leave? Was it a violent push or just a “get away from me” push? Just because she fell over doesn’t mean the push was extremely forceful.

          If she was trying to leave and he went after her. If he violently pushed her with the intent for serious harm then yes he should be kicked off the team.

          If the charges are dropped, should he be kicked off? If she changes her story, should he be kicked off? If it turns out this is some overblown drama, should he be kicked off? I say no

      • Sam says:

        Back in ’96 when Lawrence Phillips dragged his gf down 3 flights of stairs it was only a misdemeanor too.

        • scooterp says:

          Phillips also had a looooong history of violence and was a complete knuckle head. I would hardly compare him with A.C

          • Sam says:

            Not comparing the men…comparing the level of crime that they were charged with. Someone wrote about it only being a misdemeanor, just noting that a misdemeanor can still be pretty brutal.

  8. Jon says:

    Should’ve taken a tip from Rainey and just “aggravatively stalked” her

  9. scooterp says:

    Lots of things to consider here. The story probably made it seem more violent than what it was. Striking a woman is one thing forcibly removing her from the apartment – a little different. What broght on the argument?……… I’m sure some form of punishment is warranted, but removing him from the team is extremely heavy handed…. at least until we learn more.

    • Joe says:

      No doubt he should be punished minimum 3 game suspension but pulling a scholarship and chance for higher education without knowing details is rough.

  10. Ken (CA) says:

    I find it interesting in a social sense that everyone says it is wrong to strike a woman…what difference does it make that she was a woman? What if it was a male roommate and he did the same thing? You all are implying that would be ok, but this is bad because it is a woman.

    It doesn’t matter what the gender of the person being assaulted was, it wrong no matter what.

    • I think it’s a matter of bad/worse not OK/bad.

      • Joe says:

        Not trying to be a smart a$$ but Testosterone.


      • Ken (CA) says:

        I understand, my point actually was that it shouldn’t be any worse for one gender than for another. It is all bad, yet perception is it is worse. So little male domestic battery gets reported because it is so embarassing to the male ego to admit something like that, and most of the posters here are guys as well. Not every guy is the sice of A.C. Leonard, but it is interesting in the realm of social norms how it is perceived so differently for a man to hit a woman than vice versa.

    • Tim says:

      I agree, but a lot of people think it’s ok for a woman to strike a man.

      When I say ok I mean that if a woman did the same thing AC is accused of doing they wouldn’t think she should be arrested from domestic battery.

      • Sam says:

        If she managed to shove him down and hit his head on something, drag him by the hair so some was ripped out and abrasions caused on his arms then finished it off by pulling him outside by his feet and locking him out of his apartment, then yes she’d be accused of domestic battery.

  11. Sam says:

    A.C. is 6’2″ 240ish and in great shape. “Just pushing” someone while angry is probably a pretty hard push. Dunno, I was raised not to assault women no matter how angry I am and pushing is certainly assault. Saying ‘she deserved it’ because she made him angry is exactly how abusers justify their actions. He has to take responsibility for his actions even when he’s mad.

  12. vsherrel says:

    The police report does not have AC’s statement. It doesn’t say if he confirmed or denied the accusations. Odds are the quote is directly from the female. Innocent until proven guilty.

  13. Daniel M. says:

    The sad/ironic part of this is that if HE called the police FIRST and told them she came unglued and he was defending himself they likely would have arrested her. Domestic violence is no joke, but to think we EVER get the real story is laughable. It’s almost always a he said, she said. I’m not defending AC or being dismissive because he is a baller. I’m simply saying that domestic violence arrests are very often just not reflective of what actually transpires. Understand that I am also not condoning wife beaters. But there are some very volatile and violent women out there. I know.

    The main thing is to not rush to judgement.

  14. Trey Gator says:

    1. He never hit her 2. Everything in the story MIGHT be true, or most of it could have been made up by an angry GF to get back at her BF that kicked her out of the apartment, which is not that rare 3. For everything he’s accused of doing, it seems a little strange that she just ended up with two bruises on her arms. 4. If the charges are eventually dropped which they probably will be a 3 game suspension should be enough to get the point across.

  15. jay d says:

    we cannot judge ……the officers went there….we wernt there….there is only two people who know what happened and why it happened….so, for me, something emotional set them off into a heated discussion that went overboard….would not be surprised if alcohol is involved

  16. jay d says:

    at least he didnt get caught with reefer 3 times or arrested for blacking out/ passing out in ur car ata stop light…. 3 in the morning the week before a sec champ game

  17. Mr2Bits says:

    2-4 game suspension and case closed. He wont be kicked off the team.

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