Ex-Florida defensive lineman Caleb Brantley was involved in an altercation with a woman earlier this month, a run-in that was reported to have included no violence on either side and resulted in no charges. But as more witnesses came forward and more facts were revealed, Brantley suddenly finds himself in a heap of trouble.
Brantley has now been charged with battery after that April 13 confrontation. Witnesses say he made crude remarks about the woman, 20 year old Chelsea Austin, who turned and shoved him. Brantley then responded by making a closed fist and punching her in the face with all his might, per witnesses. Brantley’s punch allegedly knocked the woman unconscious and knocked out one of her teeth, an injury that will require her to receive a root canal.
Below is the official report from the Alachua County court records:
The official charge against Brantley reads, “first degree misdemeanor battery for touching or striking a person against his or her will.” If convicted of this charge, Brantley could potentially spend a year in jail.
The initial report stated that Austin admitted to starting the fight and hit Brantley multiple times because he disrespected her (reportedly, Brantley didn’t have sex with her but did have sex with one of her friends). That claim sort of seems to be backed up by the new report, albeit with the inverse spin that Brantley started the altercation by making crude comments and then the woman initiated the physical contact. But the new report also claims that Austin didn’t want to be labeled as the victim of battery, which serves as the reason why she didn’t initially report the fact that she was knocked unconscious.
Here we have another test of what to do if somebody starts a physical confrontation with you, a test that Antonneous Clayton passed a few months ago but one that Brantley apparently failed miserably. As a result, Brantley’s draft stock- which was once as a consensus pick in the first round- figures to plummet, and possibly in the gigantic fashion that La’El Collins’ stock dropped last year. It’s going to be an extremely tough sell for any team in the NFL to take a chance on him, put bluntly, and he already just cost himself a huge sum of money with the drastic difference in salary between a first round pick and a later round pick.
It’s also not the first time Brantley has gotten into trouble with the law. Two legal scrapes in the duration of a three year college career, particularly if at least one of them is of a violent nature, is often enough for most teams to take the player off their board completely. All that’s left to do is wait and see- wait and see how the legal proceedings play out, just how far he falls, and how he moves on from this.
Of course, it’s worth noting that being charged with something doesn’t necessarily mean that he did it, so that’s something to keep an eye out for in the coming days and weeks, too.