San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster has been formally charged with felony domestic violence, for an incident in February involving his girlfriend.
The Santa Clara District Attorney’s office released a statement describing the incident.
“Foster, 24, physically attacked the 28-year-old woman during a February argument at their Los Gatos home, leaving her bruised and with a ruptured ear drum,” the statement said.
According to Pro Football Talk, “Prosecutors charged Foster with one felony for that violent act, another felony for forcefully attempting to prevent the victim from reporting the crime, and a third felony for possessing an assault weapon. Foster is also charged with a misdemeanor for possessing a large capacity magazine. The charges could carry up to 11 years in prison.”
Also, according to the Santa Clara DA statement, Foster allegedly dragged his girlfriend by the hair, punched her 8-10 times in the head, and threw her out of the house. Foster’s then-girlfriend had her eardrum ruptured in the attack, and eventually flagged down a passing motorist for assistance.
As The Big Lead reports, “This presents an immediate test for John Lynch as GM for the 49ers. The incident happened after the season so there was no immediate football activity (such that an immediate release versus waiting for formal charges impacted his participation), but now that we’ve seen the charges and the team activities are approaching, the 49ers have to act.
“The league’s domestic violence policy provides for a 6-game suspension for a first offense. We just had the Ezekiel Elliott suspension saga, where the NFL acted even in the absence of formal charges. These allegations involving Foster are serious and will involve a legal charge that could result in jail time. It’s doubtful you see Foster near a football field this fall.”
Though the gun and domestic violence charges are far more serious, Foster had another brush with the law in January when he was arrested in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on marijuana possession.
Prior to both incidents, Foster drew attention to himself via participation in a national anthem protest. On October 22, 2017, the Sacramento Bee’s Matt Barrows reported that Foster was one of eight 49ers to kneel “during the national anthem”:
Reuben Foster among the eight #49ers who took a knee — hand on heart — during national anthem.
— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) October 22, 2017
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn