When the Dalvin Cook situation first boiled over publicly, it was suggested in multiple reports that the Florida State running back had punched his alleged victim not just once but multiple times during a bar fracas. Not surprisingly, Cook’s attorney is claiming the exact opposite.
Doing exactly what a defense attorney is paid to do in high-profile cases, Miami-based Ricky Patel went on the public offensive Monday night, telling Joe Schad of ESPN.com that — surprise! — his client did not punch the female victim in the face and that he’s not interested in pleading down Cook’s misdemeanor battery charge.
“Dalvin Cook did not strike this woman,” Patel told Schad. “Players were leaving the scene at the same time. But Dalvin walked away before it got out of hand. …
“We are not interested in a plea. 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.”
According to Patel, the fact that Cook’s case came so quickly on the heels of the De’Andre Johnson situation — the suspended-then-dismissed FSU quarterback was shown on video hitting a woman in the face at a bar — has put pressure on those in charge in Tallahassee to vigorously pursue the case against his client, saying that “[t]he pressure is so high the assumption is ‘he did it.’ There is no judge and jury here. It’s just not right.”
“[T]here 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 added.
Interestingly, Patel alluded to the medium that sealed Johnson’s fate at the university — and the lack of it in this case.
“There is no video,” the attorney stated. “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.”
The combination of the Johnson and Cook situations — the latter which includes a recently-discovered citation for his mistreatment of three pit bull puppies — has prompted head coach Jimbo Fisher to ban his football players from bars and led to a come-to-Jesus meeting with the university’s president in recent days. Meanwhile, the Seminoles’ leading rusher last season remains indefinitely suspended from the football program.
How long that will last — and whether it bleeds over into the season — is something that a great many fans both inside and outside of the program will be watching.