Lawyer for Seminoles RB Dalvin Cook refutes allegations

ByJoe Schad ESPN logo
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

An attorney forFlorida State Seminolesrunning back Dalvin Cook told ESPN on Monday night that Cook did not hit a woman last month and that battery chargesbrought against him are a result of pressure in Tallahassee based on recent high-profile cases in the media.

"Dalvin Cook did not strike this woman," said Ricky Patel, a Miami-based attorney. "Players were leaving the scene at the same time. But Dalvin walked away before it got out of hand."

Cook is alleged to have punched the woman, 21, in the face several times. Florida State issued a statement Friday afternoon saying Cook, a 19-year-old sophomore from Miami, was suspended from the program indefinitely.

State attorney Willie Meggs signed the probable cause warrant Friday. Cook turned himself in that evening, Leon County Jail records show.

Meggs told that he had met with the woman, who is not a Florida State student, and a female witness earlier Friday. Cook's accuser presented Meggs photos of her injuries. Meggs told's Mark Schlabach that the accuser and the female witness were "very credible."

Patel said witnesses in the case were intoxicated and that investigators were presented three versions of what occurred. Patel said his research indicates one alleged witness was actually not present.

"We are not interested in a plea," Patel said. "It's just not right here. It must be dropped or he must be found not guilty. If necessary, we will file civil charges after these false allegations."

Patel said it has been made clear to him that "there has been so much turmoil at FSU and there is a huge cloud, so [FSU] wants to make sure 100 percent that Dalvin has not done anything inappropriate."

Patel said he believes recent domestic-violence cases against women involving dismissed FSU quarterback De'Andre Johnson and even formerBaltimore Ravensrunning back Ray Rice are playing a role in charges being filed in this case.

"This is not clean," Patel said. "There are conflicting statements. The woman and her dad -- who was not there -- identified Dalvin after being shown social-media pictures of Dalvin and some random people. It was an extremely unfair 'lineup.' The pressure is so high, the assumption is 'he did it.' There is no judge and jury here. It's just not right."

Patel said he is concerned a jury could unfairly predetermine the case after it was reported Cook was cited for mistreating three dogs.

"I am hoping it doesn't create a bias," Patel said. "This is not a Michael Vick situation."

Patel said that not only did Cook not commit battery on the alleged victim, but that she actually struck Florida State receiver Travis Rudolph.

"The bottom line is, this does not relate to Dalvin," Patel said. "There is no video. And regardless of if there is a video, there is no room for that type of behavior. But Dalvin walked away. He is not an individual that would be involved in attacking a woman."

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Cook's attorneys said they were displeased with the moving of his arraignment date from July 30 to Sept. 2, because Florida State's season begins Sept. 5 and they want to proceed as quickly as possible.

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