Dalvin Cook Found Not Guilty of Misdemeanor Battery

Adam WellsFeatured Columnist

Nov 29, 2014; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles running back Dalvin Cook (4) warms up before the start of the game against the Florida Gators at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Florida State Seminoles running back Dalvin Cook was found not guilty after being charged with battery in an alleged June 23 incident with a 21-year-old woman outside of a Tallahassee bar, according to Safid Deen of the Tallahassee Democrat, who provided video of Cook's reaction:

Florida State later released a statement reinstating Cook, adding he would be eligible to return to practice right away, per Jared Shanker of ESPN.com. The running back had previously beenindefinitely suspended by the FSU program in July.

Bay News 9 provided details earlier Monday of the allegations against the running back, adding that Cook "initially tried to calm the situation but became angry after she pushed one of his friends. She says Cook shouted that he could buy her in two years and yelled, 'Google me!'"

Deen reported on Aug. 21 prosecutors would not be allowed to submit new evidence at Cook's trial:

Cook’s lawyers were granted a motion for sanctions against the State Attorney's Office in Tallahassee after it tried to introduce screenshots of posts from a fake Twitter account, Cook's juvenile records and business records as evidence. Those items, submitted in court filings Friday, will not be included in testimony.

Cook's attorney, Ricky Patel, revealed a new piece of information Aug. 10 that may have changed the case, per Bud Elliott of Tomahawk Nation: "An independent witness came forward after the release of the 911 call and directly refuted some details of the call and claims of another witness."

Elliott added the only battery witnessed was a woman hitting Cook's teammate, receiver Travis Rudolph:

Specifically, Patel tells Tomahawk Nation that the witness claims to have been present for the entire altercation; that Cook did not strike the accuser; that the only battery he witnessed was a woman strike receiver Travis Rudolph; and that he was actually having a conversation with one of the alleged witnesses as the altercation was unfolding.

On July 22, Sean Rossman and Karl Etters of the Tallahassee Democrat shared transcriptions of the call that led to Cook's arrest and eventual indefinite suspension.

Patel told Joe Schad of ESPN on July 13 his client did not hit the woman. He went into further detail on why Cook is innocent: "This is not clean. There are conflicting statements. The woman and her dadwho was not thereidentified Dalvin after being shown social-media pictures of Dalvin and some random people. It was an extremely unfair 'lineup.'"

ESPN's Mark Schlabach provided more details on the alleged incident:

The woman who said Cook punched her told ESPN.com that her bottom lip was split and her nose was sore the next day. The woman said she identified Cook as the man who struck her in a photo lineup with two Tallahassee Police Department investigators on July 1. She told police she wanted to pursue criminal charges against him.

The woman, who lives in Tallahassee, told ESPN.com that she was approached by a man who was not Cook outside the bar Clyde's and Costello's shortly after it closed on June 23. The woman said the man asked for her phone number, which she refused to give him.

"I told him I had a boyfriend and wasn't interested," said the woman, who spoke to ESPN.com on the condition she not be identified. The woman said...an argument became heated, and then Cook punched her in the face several times. Her friend ran to a nearby TPD car, which wasn't occupied, so the woman called 911.

Asher Wildman of WCTV CBS-6 reported from the affidavit one witness was unable to identify Cook in a lineup, but the victim was able to with 100 percent certainty. The affidavit also shows the only evidence as photos of the woman's injuries, noting there's no indication of video evidence.

Cook is entering his sophomore season with the Seminoles after taking over as the primary running back in 2014, when he led the team in rushing with 1,008 yards on the ground.