Florida incoming freshman defensive back Justin Watkins was arrested in July and charged with domestic battery by strangulation as well as kidnapping and false imprisonment -- both third-degree felonies -- as well as two counts of misdemeanor battery. Coach Dan Mullen announced Thursday that the former four-star prospect from the Class of 2018 is no longer with the program.
What led to his arrest? It started with a Florida teammate "liking" Instagram posts of Watkins' now-ex girlfriend.
In a University Police Department report obtained by CBS Sports, Watkins' rage is outlined by the victim. It began when he noticed that his teammate, Florida linebacker Vosean Joseph, had "liked" a few of the victim's Instagram posts. When confronted by Watkins at her dorm, the victim said that she did not know Joseph. Enraged, Watkins confronted Joseph via FaceTime to find out if the two had a relationship, which Joseph denied and Watkins did not believe.
"If you don't say the truth, I'll kill her," Watkins allegedly told Joseph. At another point during the battery, Watkins again called Joseph, this time threatening him. "Bro, when I see you, I'mma beat your ass," Watkins said, per the police report. "You twerkin' bro; I never met that girl," Joseph claims he responded.
Watkins is accused of holding the victim -- an 18-year-old Santa Fe student set to enroll at Florida -- in his dorm room. He allegedly slapped and punched the victim before straddling and strangling her. The victim eventually got free from Watkins and threatened him with mace on the way out the door when Watkins said he would show up at the victim's mother's house. He then pulled her back into the room by her belt, but the victim was able to spray Watkins in the face with mace and escape, running downstairs to her car.
This was not the first time Watkins found himself in legal trouble since signing with the Gators in February. He was arrested for trespassing on grounds of a high school he did not attend in May prior to enrolling at Florida. According to the Orlando Sentinel, he threw the phone of a female at a gas station, followed her to Vanguard High School in Ocala (where she was a student) and kicked her car.
Watkins was a four-star prospect in the Class of 2018, according to 247Sports. He ranked No. 89 nationally among high school seniors and was a candidate for immediate playing time for the 2018 Gators. Florida opens its 2018 season at home on Sept. 1 vs. Charleston Southern.