After troubled former Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster is arrested on domestic violence charge for the second time this year, San Francisco releases him hours later before game in Tampa Bay
In what was the final act of his career with the San Francisco 49ers and could be the final act of his short-and-troubled NFL career, linebacker Reuben Foster was arrested late Saturday night at the team’s hotel in Tampa Bay. The team released Foster by Sunday morning, less than two full seasons after making him a first-round pick. The team announced the move in one sentence.
Foster was arrested after an incident in which he allegedly pushed and slapped a woman who is known to be an on-again, off-again girlfriend. According to reports, it is the same woman Foster was involved with in an April incident. According to a statement from the Tampa police, the woman claimed that Foster “slapped her phone out of her hand, pushed her in the chest area and slapped her with an open hand on the right side of her face.” This was after the two were involved in a verbal altercation. Police said there was a one-inch scratch on the woman’s face.
The incident reportedly happened around 9 p.m. and Foster was taken into custody at approximately 11 p.m. and was being held by the police. This is at least the third incident this year for Foster, who served a two-game suspension to start the year for violations of the NFL’s substance abuse and personal conduct policies. He was arrested in January in Alabama on a second degree marijuana possession charge. That charge was eventually dismissed after he completed a diversion course.
In February, Foster was charged in California with domestic violence, making criminal threats, and weapons possession in an incident involving the on-again, off-again girlfriend. The first two charges were not adjudicated after the girlfriend recanted the allegations. Foster pleaded no contest to the weapons charge in June and was sentenced to two years probation, community service and a $235 fine.
After the incident, 49ers General Manager John Lynch was questioned about his handling of Foster, particularly in light of the team’s actions with former cornerback Tramaine Brock. Brock was released in April 2017 after being accused of domestic violence, even though the charges were eventually dropped when the victim recanted. Lynch has said there is a “zero-tolerance” policy for the 49ers when it comes to domestic violence.
However, the 49ers were overjoyed to take Foster with the No. 31 overall pick in the 2017. The team had considered taking him earlier in the draft and then moved up in a trade on draft day to get him. Foster had fallen in the draft because of a failed drug test before the draft. In addition, several general managers said they wouldn’t touch Foster in the first round of the draft because of what they described as extensive personal issues.
The NFL had no immediate response Sunday morning regarding Foster’s arrest.