On the very day Florida State president John Thrasher met with the FSU football team to discuss behavioral expectations in the wake of two incidents in which Seminoles players were accused of punching a woman, the attorney for Seminoles running back Dalvin Cook said his client is innocent of the battery charge filed against him last week.
Ricky Patel, a lawyer based in Cook's hometown of Miami, told ESPN that Cook did not punch a woman in the face several times outside a bar in Tallahassee, Fla., last month, as has been alleged. Cook was charged on Friday with misdemeanor battery and has been suspended indefinitely from the team.
"Dalvin Cook did not strike this woman," Patel said. "Players were leaving the scene at the same time. But Dalvin walked away before it got out of hand."
Witnesses to the alleged battery were intoxicated and one alleged witness was not present, according to Patel. The attorney also said there is no video of the alleged incident, and that the accuser struck FSU receiver Travis Rudolph. Former FSU quarterback De'Andre Johnson, who is alleged to have punched a woman at a bar on June 24, was dismissed from the team July 6 after surveillance video from the altercation was released.
"We are not interested in a plea," Patel said. "It's just not right here. It must be dropped or he must be found not guilty. If necessary, we will file civil charges after these false allegations."
Cook has had legal issues both before, including robbery and firearms charges in 2009 and 2010 (both charges were dropped or abandoned), and a 2014 citation from Tallahassee Animal Services for improper treatment of three pit bull puppies.