Troubled running back Mark Walton has been let go by the Miami Dolphins after he was accused of hitting his pregnant girlfriend.
Police in the Broward County community of Davie said the incident took place Tuesday morning. Walton was charged with aggravated battery of a pregnant person, according to the Miami Herald.
Then the hammer fell. The Dolphins cut Walton.
“We were made aware of a police matter earlier this morning regarding Mark Walton,” Dolphins general manager Chris Grier said in a statement.
We have waived running back Mark Walton. pic.twitter.com/vXhON24Z4I
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) November 19, 2019
“We hold our players to a high standard and take these matters very seriously. We will have no further comment at this time.”
Walton began 2019 with a string of arrests that included a felony gun charge and two drug offenses.
The arrests led to him being cut by the Cincinnati Bengals.
Miami signed him in May, and in August, Walton was placed on probation in resolution of the three cases against him.
Walton was serving a four-game suspension for those arrests when the new charges were filed, ESPN reported.
Police said the alleged battery took place at about 4:15 a.m. on Tuesday.
Walton pushed his girlfriend “against a wall and punched her several times in the head and face,” according to a police report.
The woman told police she was five weeks pregnant, and said she had told Walton on Sunday that she was carrying his child.
Walton, who played at the University of Miami, was a fourth-round draft pick in 2018.
Before being cut, he led the Dolphins in rushing with 201 yards. He also has 15 receptions for 89 yards.
Miami Herald sportswriter Barry Jackson wrote Tuesday about his final interactions with Walton.
“It was bad,” Walton told Jackson about the days after his arrests and subsequent release by the Bengals.
“It was terrible at one point. But it’s turned around now,” Walton said then, adding that he was working hard to earn his teammates’ “trust and showing them what type of guy I am. I am not the type of guy off the field that would be a [problem].”
Walton said that during his dark times, his girlfriend “was supporting me, said keep my head up and keep working and she said ‘I’m not turning my back on you. Just do what you have to do and I believe in you.’ That’s what I’ve been doing, keeping her trust.”
He insisted that being cut by the Bengals made him reconsider his choices.
“After I got released, I took a whole evaluation of who I want to be, what I want to do, and what I strongly believe,” he said. “It changed me as a person”
After writing about Walton’s comments in October that he was trying to turn his life around, Jackson noted, “Again, there’s only one victim here — the woman that Walton allegedly battered. All of your compassion should be directed toward her.”
“But there’s also sadness that Walton couldn’t stay out of trouble, couldn’t follow through on his vow to change his life and couldn’t complete what could have been a wonderful story of redemption. It was a once-in-a-lifetime career opportunity squandered,” Jackson wrote.
“And a tragedy, on so many levels.”
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