Former ECU football player expelled from school

(WITN)
Published: Aug. 26, 2016 at 5:10 PM EDT
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A former ECU football player charged with animal cruelty and dismissed from the team has now been expelled from the university.

21 year old Darius Commissiong had his first court appearance Monday for felony animal cruelty.

His attorney, Derek Brown, says this charge has cost the ECU football player his position on the team and his status as a student.

Brown says, "This is a serious crime. It's a Class H felony. He's facing 39 months in prison and right now it's something we're taking very serious, every step of the process."

Greenville police say they got a call to apartment building 116 on Brownlea Drive around 2:00 a.m. Friday morning for a complaint.

Witnesses say they heard a lot of commotion inside the apartment where a young woman and her 1 year old Shih Tzu stayed.

According to the warrant, police went into the apartment and found the dog dead from severe injuries that coincide with the dog being thrown against fixed objects.

After his arrest ECU kicked Commissiong off the team.

Coach Scottie Montgomery reiterated that decision during Monday's first weekly press conference. He said, "Like I said on Friday, we don't accept that type of behavior and I don't think it's fair to the other players to talk about a person who is no longer on the team."

Brown says his client is innocent until proven guilty. He says, "Right now we're on a fact finding mission to find out what they have, what is against him at this time."

Commissiong is out of jail on a $25,000 bond.

Prior to being a Pirate, Commissiong was with Georgia Tech, where he was cut from the team for a student- athlete code of conduct violation.


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East Carolina University has dismissed a player from the team after his arrest today for animal cruelty.

Greenville police have charged Darius Commissiong, a defensive tackle, with one count of felony animal cruelty.

Police say around 2:00 a.m. they were called to an apartment on Brownlea Drive for a possible disturbance. Once inside the apartment, they found a one-year-old Shih Tzu was dead.

A necropsy on the dog was performed today and found that the animal had multiple hemorrhages of the skin and body, three freshly cracked ribs which resulted in a collapsed lung, hemorrhaging in the abdomen, hemorrhaging in the left eye, and hemorrhaging in the brain. Police say the dog also had its liver torn in several pieces because of trauma, several fractured teeth and a complete fracture of a femur.

Commissiong was jailed on a $25,000.

Within minutes of police announcing the arrest, ECU sent out a news release saying Commissiong was no longer a member of the team.

"While we always want to be in a position to guide young people, unacceptable behavior such as this clearly crosses the line of humanity and simply will not be tolerated," Coach Scottie Montgomery said. "There's a level of accountability which defines our program, athletics department and East Carolina University, and any conduct which isn't congruent with those values is unwelcome here."

ECU says Commissiong played ten games last season and was a projected starter for this season.