The San Francisco 49ers released linebacker Reuben Foster on Sunday morning, hours after he was arrested on a domestic violence charge at a Tampa, Florida, hotel.
Foster, 24, was arrested after Tampa Police officers responded to the Grand Hyatt hotel shortly after 9 p.m. Saturday, according to a release from the City of Tampa. The former first-round NFL draft pick was charged with one count of first-degree misdemeanor domestic violence and booked into the Hillsborough County Jail, the release says .
Police said Foster's 28-year-old female companion reported that he "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 woman's left collarbone, the release states. Investigating officers learned that Foster and the woman had lived together in the past and were in an on-again, off-again relationship over the past three years, the release says.
The 49ers released Foster just hours before their scheduled game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
It was unclear Sunday morning whether Foster has retained an attorney.
A college star at Alabama, Foster was the 31st overall pick in last year's NFL draft but has had several arrests since.
He was charged with felony domestic violence in April for allegedly attacking his girflriend in February at their home, leaving her bruised and with a ruptured eardrum, the Santa Clara County District Attorney said. The charges were dismissed after the victim recanted her story, although the Santa Clara DA's office said the evidence demonstrated he "seriously hurt his girlfriend."
The NFL had suspended him without pay for the first two games of this season in relation to a weapons offense and a misdemeanor drug offense which were resolved earlier this year, the 49ers said in a statement on its website.
"I accept the League's decision and am sorry that my mistakes have hurt my team," Foster said in July when the suspension was announced. "I have a responsibility to the 49ers, our fans and our community, and I am committed to learning from this situation and making better choices in the future. The support I have received over the last five months has been humbling, and I do not take it for granted."
49ers General Manager John Lynch said at the time that they supported the league's decision to suspend Foster and hoped he had learned his lesson.
"Although we are disappointed that Reuben will not be with our team for the first two games of the season, we will continue to work with him on making better decisions and eliminating unnecessary distractions," Lynch said. "We are encouraged to see Reuben take responsibility for his mistakes, and hopeful that he has learned from them as well."
In his two seasons with the 49ers Foster played in 16 games and recorded 84 tackles.