Florida WR Justin Watkins Arrested for Kidnapping, Strangulation, More Charges

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJuly 24, 2018

Credit: Andrew Ivins, 247Sports

Florida Gators freshman wide receiver Justin Watkins has been suspended indefinitely from all team activities following his second arrest of the offseason. 

According to arrest records from Alachua County in Florida (h/t Saturday Down South's Adam Spence), Watkins was arrested and remains in custody after he was charged with two counts of first-degree misdemeanor battery that caused bodily harm, one count of felony kidnapping and false imprisonment and one count of felony domestic battery by strangulation. 

"Justin Watkins has been suspended immediately from all activities," head coach Dan Mullen said in a statement provided to 247Sports.com's Thomas Goldkamp

In a since-deleted tweet on Friday, Watkins wrote "I will be leaving the university of Florida to better my opportunities."

According to the arrest report (via Graham Hall of Gainesville.com), Watkins "struck his 18-year-old girlfriend with an open and closed fist on both sides of her head and on her shoulders while holding her down on a dorm room bed."

The report also says Watkins "got on top of her, pinning her to the bed again, the report says, wrapped his hands around her neck and choked her three times, once for 15 seconds and twice for about eight seconds."

Watkins is accused of blocking his girlfriend's exit before she "sprayed mace in his face and fled."

Watkins was previously arrested in May on a misdemeanor charge of trespassing on school grounds after he allegedly kicked a woman's car and broke her phone, according to the Tampa Bay Times' Matt Baker

A 4-star recruit, Watkins was the class of 2018's 89th-ranked player overall and 16th-ranked wide receiver. The Clermont, Florida, native was also the Sunshine State's 20th-ranked player, regardless of position. 

According to Goldkamp, Watkins was "expected to contribute at cornerback" and provide some speed on special teams as a freshman. 

                  

Recruit information courtesy of 247Sports.com

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