Before he signed to play football at Tennessee, cornerback Bryce Thompson had a restraining order filed against him by a woman in Richland County, South Carolina. The restraining order came more than a year before his recent arrest for domestic assault.
According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, the restraining order was filed against Thompson in January 2018 and the woman and Thompson agreed to a “mutual one-year restraining order” in April 2018.
Records obtained by the News Sentinel detail what led to the restraining order, including accusations of violence:
The woman who filed for a restraining order against Thompson wrote in her complaint that Thompson texted her stating that if she dated another man, he “would kill both me and that other guy.” She wrote that she believed Thompson’s threat because “he has a history of violence against me and others. He has physically slapped me, choked me, and thrown me around. I fear for my safety, and am constantly looking over my shoulder.
The woman wrote that after several attempts to break up with Thompson and telling him not to contact her, he threatened to kill himself on multiple occasions. She wrote that Thompson made her believe she was at fault. Thompson created disguised phone numbers to contact her, she wrote.
Thompson, a native of Irmo, South Carolina, enrolled at Tennessee in late May 2018 — months after most in his recruiting class had signed. Thompson, a four-star prospect, had previously verbally committed to play at South Carolina but did not sign with the Gamecocks.
It is not known if Tennessee, including head coach Jeremy Pruitt, was aware of the restraining order when it allowed him to enroll. Thompson subsequently became one of Tennessee’s top players as a true freshman, leading the team in interceptions and pass breakups.
Thompson arrested for domestic violence on Saturday
Thompson was in the news over the weekend after he was arrested for domestic assault. He was subsequently suspended indefinitely by the program.
In the alleged incident that led to the arrest and a charge of domestic assault, police said Thompson had to be separated from a woman (different from the South Carolina restraining order) after getting into an argument. Multiple people on the scene told police that Thompson had made threats to “shoot up the school” and told the woman he would “slap the (expletive) out of you.”
Pruitt announced a suspension for Thompson in a statement on Monday and had no further comment at his press conference that same day.
“Bryce Thompson is suspended indefinitely while the process continues,” Pruitt’s statement said. “We hold our student-athletes to a high standard. The safety of all students is our first priority here at Tennessee.”
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