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Prosecutors in Tampa, Fla., declined to file charges against former 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster on Wednesday, more than a month after he was arrested for allegedly hitting his on-and-off girlfriend.
On Wednesday, Andrew H. Warren, the Florida State Attorney for Hillsborough County, stated a domestic-violence allegation against Foster had been dismissed after a review of the case by his office. Foster was arrested Nov. 24 on one count of first-degree misdemeanor domestic-violence battery after an alleged altercation with Elissa Ennis at the 49ers’ team hotel in Tampa.
“We take allegations of domestic violence very seriously and thoroughly investigated the facts of this case,” said Estella Gray, a spokesperson for the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office. “After a meticulous review of the case, there was insufficient evidence to move forward with charges.”
Prosecutors filed a notice of termination of prosecution a day before Foster’s scheduled arraignment Thursday in a Florida court, citing that they did not believe they could prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt, said Ennis’ attorney, Adante Pointer.
“This is yet another slap in the face … just like the one Mr. Foster gave her in Tampa,” Pointer said.
On Nov. 25, the 49ers released Foster, 24, just hours after his third arrest in a 10-month span. Foster was subsequently claimed off waivers by Washington and placed on the NFL Commissioner’s exempt list, meaning he couldn’t play or practice with his new team.
In May, a Santa Clara County Court judge dropped domestic-violence charges against Foster, a week after Ennis, 28, took the stand and recanted her allegations that Foster struck her in Los Gatos on Feb. 11. At the time, Ennis also testified about lying about domestic-violence charges in Louisiana after a boyfriend broke up with her in 2011.
Despite Ennis’ history, the 49ers released Foster in part because of the poor judgment he showed in having Ennis at the team hotel.
“You’ve got to make sure that doesn’t happen again,” head coach Kyle Shanahan said. “How can you do that? By continuing to be with that person … that’s not very good judgment.”
But in an interview on “Good Morning America” on Dec. 6, Ennis said that she had retracted her allegations because she still loved him.
“Love will have you doing things that isn’t in your best interest,” she said.
In that same interview, Ennis alleged that 49ers officials had intercepted police while they were investigating the Tampa hotel incident, which the team and Tampa police denied.
Pointer said Ennis will continue to explore her legal options. Foster’s attorney declined to comment on the case.
In October, Santa Clara police responded to an incident between Foster and Ennis at his apartment. A neighbor called 911 to report a loud argument and sounds as if “someone was getting banged to the wall.” Foster was briefly handcuffed but was not arrested. The 49ers said they were not aware of the incident when The Chronicle learned of it following Foster’s arrest in Tampa.
Foster, who served a two-game suspension to open the 2018 season, still could face discipline stemming from his latest arrest. On Thursday, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league was continuing to monitor “all developments in the matter which continues to be under review by the league.”
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/49ers/article/Reuben-Foster-s-domestic-violence-charge-dropped-13505989.php.