Ex-Vikings CB A.J. Jefferson charged with assault
NOV 27, 2013 1:49p ET
The Hennepin County attorney's office charged Jefferson, 25, after he was arrested at his Eden Prairie residence on Monday for probable cause domestic assault against his girlfriend of three years, according to a statement released by the county on Wednesday.
"We are saddened at the continuing inability of men to get this simple message: Don't hit, strangle, slap or in any other way assault your wife or girlfriend," Hennepin County attorney Mike Freeman said in the statement. "It is wrong morally and criminally, and we will prosecute you, as we do hundreds of men every year."
According to the criminal complaint, Jefferson -- listed on court records by his given name, Anthony Ray Jefferson -- had grabbed his girlfriend, reported to be a 23-year-old woman, around the throat after she had not responded to text messages. The statement released Wednesday said that Jefferson and his girlfriend had an argument in their home Sunday evening. Jefferson had played one defensive snap in Minnesota's 26-26 tie at Green Bay on Sunday before leaving with a neck injury.
The statement said Jefferson left the residence and his girlfriend had went to bed, and she awoke to Jefferson "yelling at her for ignoring his text messages to her and he grabbed her around her throat," according to the complaint.
Jefferson was jailed at 6:57 a.m. on Monday and is still in custody on $40,000 bail.
Jefferson, acquired by the Vikings in a 2012 preseason trade, was released Monday.
"I can't really comment on his release or what happens from this point on regarding him," Frazier said Monday.
Jefferson is the second of three Vikings' player to be arrested since Nov. 9 when receiver Jerome Simpson was arrested and later charged with third-degree DWI for refusal to submit to a chemical test, a gross misdemeanor, and fourth-degree DWI for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, a misdemeanor. Starting middle linebacker Erin Henderson was arrested on Nov. 19 for probable cause DWI and possession of a controlled substance, according to an Eden Prairie Police statement.
"The fact that we have had three recent off field situations is unacceptable and disappointing," general manager Rick Spielman said in a statement released by the team. "Our organization looks at each situation and the circumstances involved to determine our actions with those players and how to best move forward.
"The Vikings have a comprehensive approach with our player development program and excellent resources that are a part of this organization, but certainly we will take a methodical look at how we can improve upon our current programs to prevent these situations in the future."
Minnesota’s Chris Cook was arrested Oct. 22, 2011 and later charged with felony charges of domestic abuse/strangulation. He was suspended by the team, but reinstated less than two weeks later. He missed the season’s final 10 games though after the team told him to stay away from the team facilities while going through the legal process. He was later acquitted.
Follow Brian Hall on Twitter