Pittsburgh Steelers running back Chris Rainey was arrested Thursday morning and charged with one count of simple battery (dating violence), the Gainesville, Fla., police department confirmed. The arrest quickly cost Rainey his job.
"Chris Rainey's actions this morning were extremely disappointing," Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said in a statement released by the team. "Under the circumstances and due to this conduct, Chris will no longer be a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers."
Rainey was a promising return man and third-down back who touched the ball 60 times from scrimmage during his rookie campaign. But it sounds like the Steelers had a zero-tolerance policy with him because of his checkered past.
The police received a call at 8:26 am ET about a verbal altercation between Rainey and his girlfriend that turned physical.
"Witnesses told officers that Rainey and the victim got into an argument over Rainey's cellphone," the police statement read. "The female victim entered the vehicle of Rainey's roommate, and Rainey confronted her on the passenger side of the vehicle, and began pulling her out of the vehicle. Witnesses then observed Rainey slap the victim across the face with an open hand.
"Both Rainey and the female victim then fell to the ground. The victim was able to run away, but Rainey chased after her because his cellphone was in a bag the victim was carrying. Rainey grabbed the bag again and they both fell to the ground again. Neither party suffered visible injuries from the encounter. Multiple witnesses confirmed the incident."
Rainey denied hitting the victim at the scene of the crime. He remains in custody.
This is not the first arrest for Rainey, who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor stalking while attending the University of Florida. Another Steelers rookie, Alameda Ta'amu, was arrested on 18 charges after allegedly leading police on a wild, car chase in November. Ta'amu remains on the Steelers' roster.
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