Dante Fowler sentenced to probation in battery case


Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler was sentenced to probation and fines Thursday after pleading no contest to three misdemeanor charges stemming from his July arrest in St. Petersburg, Florida, according to court records obtained by NFL.com.

Fowler was sentenced to a year of probation, 75 hours of community service, $1,575 in fines and ordered not to have contact with the victim after submitting his battery case plea, per Pinellas County Court records. He was ordered to pay an additional $1,000 in fines after his pleas on criminal mischief and petty theft charges.

Fowler remains subject to potential discipline from the NFL related to the incident. TMZ first reported the sentencing.

Per police records obtained by NFL.com, Fowler was arrested July 18 after he was seen punching a man following a "brief verbal confrontation" in a St. Petersburg parking lot. Fowler then stepped on the man's glasses, "breaking a lens," according to the report. Florida State prosecutor Bernie McCabe's office believed Fowler intentionally caused bodily harm against the individual in addition to "willfully and maliciously" damaging the man's property.

"I just wanted to let people know and everybody know that's not me as a person, I'm a better person than that and it won't happen again," Fowler said at the start of training camp in July. "Like I told [executive vice president] Tom [Coughlin], 'I'm very sorry.' I told him that I apologize and I can't make the organization look like that and put us in situations like that because that's not us, that's not how we are as a team, and that's not how we are as an organization."

It wasn't Fowler's first legal issue. He was arrested on misdemeanor assault and resisting arrest charges in Miami Beach in March 2016, per Miami-Dade County Court records. He eventually entered a diversion program and the case was closed in December.

In addition, the NFL and Jaguars reviewed Fowler's actions from a video which surfaced in February 2016 that appeared to show him watching two women as they fought. Fowler later apologized.

A third-overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, Fowler, 23, saw his entire rookie season wiped away by a knee injury. The former Florida star had eight sacks and 21 tackles for the Jaguars this past season.