Reuben Foster arrested on domestic violence charge before 49ers-Bucs game


TAMPA, Fla. -- 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster was arrested Saturday night on a domestic violence charge, about 15 hours before kickoff against the Buccaneers.

Foster was booked into jail at 11:11 p.m. ET, and no bond was immediately posted, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff arrest report. Foster was arrested on "probable cause" of battery (domestic violence), the report said.

The San Francisco Chronicle first reported the news of Foster’s arrest. The 49ers didn’t immediately release a statement.

According to the arrest report, Foster was detained at 9:10 p.m., local time, at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, where the 49ers are staying. The Tampa Police Department later released a statement saying "Foster and the victim lived together in the past and they were involved in an on-again-off-again relationship over the past three years."

The statement sent to NBC Sports Bay Area read in full:

"Tampa Police officers responded to the Grand Hyatt hotel to investigate a domestic violence call shortly after 9 p.m. on November 24. Reuben Foster and the female victim were involved in a verbal altercation. The victim stated that during the altercation Foster slapped her phone out of her hand, pushed her in the chest area, and slapped her with an open hand on the right side of her face. Officers observed a one inch scratch on the victim's left collar bone. 

"During the investigation officers learned that Foster and the victim lived together in the past and they were involved in an on-again-off-again relationship over the past three years. 

"Foster was charged with one count of first degree misdemeanor domestic violence and booked into the Hillsborough County Jail." 

Tampa police later updated the police report, an officer told NBC Sports Bay Area, to state that the alleged open-handed slap was to the left side of the alleged victim's face.

Tampa police told KGO-TV that Foster was "very cooperative when arrested." They said the alleged victim called them to the 49ers' hotel, and had "very minor" injuries. 

Tampa police also told KGO that Foster will appear before a judge at 7 a.m. ET local time Sunday on the charge.

This isn’t the first time Foster has had legal issues. Domestic violence charges were dropped against him earlier this year after his then-girlfriend, Elissa Ennis, recanted her allegations that Foster had struck her several times in the head.

Foster also missed the 49ers’ first two games this season while suspended by the NFL over an arrest for misdemeanor marijuana possession and a subsequent weapons charge. Foster pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor weapons charge, and was given community service and two years’ probation.

Foster’s future with the 49ers now is in question, as both coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have stated a no-tolerance policy concerning domestic violence.

Lynch addressed the matter prior to the start of the 2018 season.

“If Reuben did indeed hit this young lady,” Lynch said, referring to the Ennis case, “he won’t be part of our organization going forward.”

Lynch has said the 49ers didn’t treat the situation with Foster differently than that of Tramaine Brock, whom they immediately released after he was arrested.

Prior to the offseason, Lynch stated the 49ers have been very clear with Foster about their expectations.

“We have talked with Reuben, and the context in a broad sense of what we discussed with Reuben is just our expectations for him and our expectations for all our players,” Lynch said. “We have a high standard.”

Shanahan also addressed the previous allegations against Foster.

“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,” Shanahan said. “I feel strongly about that. I know John 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.”

Foster, 24, has 29 tackles in six games this season. He slipped to the 49ers at No. 31 in the draft last year over concerns about a failed drug test at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Foster's availability for Sunday had been in question because of a hamstring strain that caused him to miss two games before the 49ers' bye week. 

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