49ers linebacker Reuben Foster charged with felony domestic violence

49ers linebacker Reuben Foster charged with felony domestic violence

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster was officially charged with felony domestic violence stemming from his February arrest after an incident involving his live-in girlfriend, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office announced Thursday morning.

Foster, 24, physically attacked the 28-year-old woman during an argument at their Los Gatos home, leaving her bruised and with a ruptured ear drum, according to the DA’s office. Foster is scheduled to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Hall of Justice in San Jose.

According to the DA’s office, Foster faces felony charges of domestic violence with an allegation "he inflicted great bodily injury, forcefully attempting to prevent a victim from reporting a crime, and possession of an assault weapon.” All are felony charges. Foster is also charged with misdemeanor possession of a large capacity weapon magazine.

If convicted, Foster faces more than 11 years in prison, according to the DA’s office.

“Our focus is on holding accountable those who hurt their intimate partners,” prosecutor Kevin Smith said in a statement. “Our office handles between 4,000 and 5,000 domestic violence cases each year. We only hope that this case illuminates the tragic regularity of the rest.”

According to the DA’s office, the alleged victim flagged down a stranger’s car driving on Shannon Road to call police on Feb. 11. She told responding sheriff’s deputies and Los Gatos police that Foster dragged her by her hair, physically threw her out of the house, and punched her in the head eight to 10 times.

The alleged victim was taken to a local hospital, where she was treated for her injuries, and released, according to the DA’s report. In a subsequent search of Foster’s home, officers found a Sig Sauer 516 and a large capacity magazine. Both are illegal to possess in California. Foster was taken into custody and released on $75,000 bail.

Foster, a first-round draft pick of the 49ers a year ago, could also face discipline from the NFL under the league’s policies on personal conduct and substances of abuses.

Among the prohibited conduct stated in the policy: “Actual or threatened physical violence against another person, including dating violence, domestic violence, child abuse, and other forms of family violence.”

Said NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy, "We continue to monitor all developments in this matter, which is under review of the personal conduct policy."

It was Foster’s second arrest in the first two months after the completion of his rookie season. Foster was arrested in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, for second-degree possession of marijuana. His next scheduled court date in Alabama is May 2.

Jed York, 49ers CEO, acknowledged recently at the NFL owners meetings in Orlando, Florida, during an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area and The Athletic that Foster is running out of chances.

“We’d love Reuben to be on this team,” York said. “And we’d love him to participate for us, but if he’s not doing things off the field that allow us to be able to rely on him – or he’s doing something that we’re not comfortable with off the field and it’s proven that’s what’s going on, I think the guys have said, then you’re just going to have to move on.”

York admitted the 49ers have made some judgment errors in the past before the arrivals of general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan. Aldon Smith, Ray McDonald and Bruce Miller were released after multiple run-ins with the law.

The 49ers released Tramaine Brock last spring – shortly after Lynch and Shanahan were hired -- just hours after he was arrested for alleged domestic violence. Two months after the alleged incident, the DA’s office filed felony charges against Brock. But two months after that, the case was dismissed and Brock was cleared of all charges due to insufficient evidence when the alleged victim refused to cooperate with authorities, according to the DA’s office.

“I think everything has to be case-by-case because no incident is the same and no situation is the same,” York said. “I think we have certainly made mistakes in the past because we’ve been too lenient.”

The 49ers’ first scheduled activity since the end of last season is Monday, when the club is scheduled to report for the opening of the nine-week offseason training program. Foster's status with the organization remains unclear. The 49ers did not immediately respond when asked to comment on the Santa Clara County DA office's announcement.

York said he has not spoken with Foster this offseason, but Lynch and Shanahan have been in regular contact with him.

“From my conversations with John and Kyle, I know Reuben is very cognizant of where his position is right now, and his time with the 49ers could potentially be over if he continues to do things outside of the team that aren’t what we want him to be a part of,” York said.

Shanahan remains in contact with Reuben Foster, shares his state of mind

Shanahan remains in contact with Reuben Foster, shares his state of mind

SANTA CLARA – A judge will make a crucial ruling on Wednesday that is likely to determine the 49ers' next move with linebacker Reuben Foster, who faces two felony counts of domestic violence.

The decision will be announced at 3:30 p.m. at the Hall of Justice in San Jose whether probable cause was demonstrated last week during a preliminary hearing. Foster faces three felony charges of domestic violence, forcefully attempting a victim from reporting a crime, and possession of an assault weapon.

Foster has not taken part in any of the 5 ½ weeks of the team’s offseason program since the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office filed the formal charges in April. The 49ers opened organized team activities on Monday.

“It’s still ongoing,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said of Foster’s legal issues. “Hopefully, we’ll have some more answers by tomorrow. We’ve been patient this whole time. We’re going to continue to be patient until we get a few more answers. And, then, when the decision does come, I promise you guys, I’ll answer that for you right away.”

The DA's office last week attempted to present evidence in court to justify moving forward to the trial phase with Foster. However, the accuser, Foster’s former girlfriend, recanted her initial statements to policy and gave testimony that supported Foster's defense.

The woman, Elissa Ennis, said under oath last week that Foster did not harm her. She said her injuries were the result of a fight with one or two women following a road rage incident the night before the alleged incident with Foster. She said she was upset because Foster was threatening to break up with her and she wanted to ruin his career. She said she lied about her accusations of Foster's abuse.

The 49ers took no action after the initial reports of the alleged incident, choosing to let the legal process play out. Although Foster has not been showing up at team headquarters, members of the organization are remaining in contact with him.

“I reach out to him about once or twice a week to see how he’s doing,” Shanahan said.

How is Foster doing?

“He’s hanging in there,” Shanahan said. “Obviously, it’s a tough challenge. I think anyone would realize. It’s a very hard thing to go through. We’ll see how this ends up, but just always hope that every situation you’re in, in the long run, it can make you a better person and a better man. And I think Reuben is handling it right.”

Report: NFL teams viewed Kaepernick as a starting QB, collusion case reveals


Report: NFL teams viewed Kaepernick as a starting QB, collusion case reveals

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick opted out of his deal with the San Francisco 49ers last March, and went unsigned for the entirety of the 2017 season. That, reportedly, may not have been because of his playing ability. 

Testimony from witnesses under deposition in Kaepernick's collusion case against the NFL and "internal franchise documents generated as part of the free-agency evaluation process" indicated that multiple teams viewed Kaepernick as good enough to be a starting quarterback, Pro Football Talk reported Monday, citing a source with knowledge of the situation.

Kaepernick filed a grievance under the NFL's collective bargaining agreement in October, alleging that he was unsigned after first sitting, than kneeling, during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality throughout the 2016 season. He started 11 games in 2016, throwing for 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns, and four interceptions. His interception percentage (1.2 percent) was sixth-lowest among starting quarterbacks (minimum 10 starts) that year, and he finished 17th in passer rating (90.7).