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Suspended Baylor defensive back arrested on assault charge

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Suspended Baylor University football player Travon Blanchard was arrested Tuesday on a Fort Bend County assault warrant, five months after authorities started investigating domestic violence allegations against the senior defensive back.

Blanchard, 22, a defensive back from Orange, Texas, was booked into McLennan County Jail with bond listed at $6,000 on the Class A misdemeanor assault charge. Baylor police arrested Blanchard at about 5:45 p.m. in the 2200 block of South University Parks Drive before he posted bond and was released.

The arrest stems from a Feb. 4 incident in which Blanchard is accused of assaulting a woman. The woman filed for a protective order later that month, and Baylor suspended Blanchard from the football team pending the results of investigations into the incident.

According to online court records, the Fort Bend County charge was filed late last week. The arrest affidavit was not available late Tuesday night.

“The accusations made against Travon are the same accusations made by the same woman who requested the protective order filed earlier this year,” Blanchard’s attorney, Michelle Tuegel, said via email Tuesday night. “Her initial accusations connected to this arrest were also contained in the February 2017 police or event report we released earlier this year.

The woman alleged that Travon snatched keys out of her hand which she claimed cut her pinkie finger in the process. We look forward to representing Travon and bringing out the truth in court.”

According to an affidavit to support the protective order, Blanchard was eating dinner in a restaurant in Stafford with the woman when a waiter asked if he knew the woman. Blanchard reportedly became “very upset and he began verbally abusing” the woman, the affidavit states.

The woman did not feel comfortable and decided to leave the restaurant, and Blanchard followed her, according to the affidavit.

He pulled and squeezed the woman’s hand, breaking her finger and cutting one finger “to the point where she was unable to have it stitched,” according to the affidavit.

The woman ran from Blanchard and flagged down a Stafford police officer, but Blanchard reportedly ran and was not located at the time, the affidavit states.

Amid the allegations and Blanchard’s suspension from the football team, Baylor also opened a Title IX investigation. Blanchard remained listed as an active student as of Tuesday night.

In March, Tuegel told the Tribune-Herald there were discrepancies in statements the woman gave to Stafford police and to the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office.

“This is a great example of why in our system the presumption of innocence is really so important because it is very easy for someone to accuse another person,” Tuegel said at the time. “But when we start to see big differences in what they have said, it really makes us question if that person is telling the truth or which version is the truth.”

According to protective order documents, the woman reported ongoing domestic abuse incidents involving Blanchard between July 4, 2016, and Feb. 4.

Blanchard’s status with the football program has not changed since his February suspension, spokesman David Kaye said in a statement late Tuesday.

“The university is aware of the arrest made today in connection with the previous allegations against Blanchard and will monitor the developments of this charge for any additional decision regarding his affiliation as a student-athlete,” Kaye said, adding Blanchard has had no involvement with the program since February.

— Tribune-Herald reporter Tommy Witherspoon contributed to this story.

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