Hours before their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster was arrested at the team hotel. Foster was booked into Hillsborough County Jail at 11:11 p.m. on one count of first-degree misdemeanor domestic-violence battery. By early Sunday morning, he had been released from the team.
The San Francisco 49ers are releasing Reuben Foster.— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) November 25, 2018
The alleged victim is Elissa Ennis, with whom Foster has been "in an on-again-off-again relationship over the past three years." In a statement, Tampa police said Foster and Ennis were involved in a verbal altercation Saturday during which "Foster slapped her phone out of her hand, pushed her in the chest area, and slapped her with an open hand on the left side of her face. Officers observed a one-inch scratch on the victim's left collarbone." According to the San Francisco Chronicle, two members of the hotel's valet-parking staff said an ambulance was at the team hotel earlier in the evening.
The 49ers have previously stated that any player who committed domestic violence would no longer have a place on their team, and they stuck to that statement by releasing Foster on Sunday.
"We can promise you guys -- if there's someone who ever hits their significant other, girlfriends, some person like that, that person is not going to be on our team," coach Kyle Shanahan said. "I feel strongly about that. I know John (Lynch) does. I know our ownership does. That's how we feel about it. Obviously, Reuben is on our team right now, so we're waiting to see how that goes. But if that's something that we felt he did or ended up happening, you guys will see how we feel."
"I want to be abundantly clear, if these charges are proven true, if Reuben did hit this young lady, he won't be a part of this organization going forward," Lynch said.
Ennis previously accused Foster of domestic violence earlier this year, but thoseafter Ennis stated on the witness stand that she had fabricated the allegations in order to get money from Foster. " . I didn't want to get this far in the news," Ennis said at the time. "It was about money. I wanted to sue him on my own."
After those charges were dismissed, the 49ers stated that Foster would rejoin the team but that it had been made clear to him that his place on the roster would have to be earned.
Foster previously had several additional run-ins with police during his time in the NFL.
Foster was arrested on Jan. 12 and charged with second-degree possession of marijuana after an incident in Alabama. (The charges were eventually dismissed after he completed a pre-trial diversion program.) He was also arrested and eventually on a misdemeanor weapons charge that resulted in probation and his being barred from possessing a gun. He was eventually suspended for the first two games of this season as a result of the various charges.
Previously, he was also sent home early from the combine after getting into a heated discussion with a hospital worker while waiting to get tested. His urine sample also came back as a diluted sample which, according to the NFL's substance abuse policy, is considered a positive test.