KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The University of Tennessee football player accused of assaulting a man at an apartment complex Sunday has released a statement through his attorney.
The UT football player, Jaylen McCollough was arrested and is charged with felony aggravated assault in a bizarre case involving a victim who told investigators that he was assaulted after he entered the wrong apartment, in the wrong building, after having been drinking.
On Tuesday, McCollough’s attorney Chloe Akers released the following statement:
“Mr. McCollough is cooperating fully with both the University of Tennessee and Knoxville Police Department investigations into these allegations. He looks forward to a speedy resolution of this matter and maintains his complete innocence.”Chloe Akers, attorney
McCollough, 21 of Georgia, was arrested on a warrant accusing him of assaulting the man and causing him to fall down stairs at an apartment building around 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 9 in the 2000 block of Grand Avenue in Knoxville.
McCollough is a senior defensive captain on the UT football team and has served in that role in each game this season, according to team records online. He has appeared in 41 games over 4 years and made 7 total tackles in Saturday’s game against LSU.
According to the arrest warrant, officers met the victim in front of the apartment building and that he “had blood and swelling on his mouth and had multiple missing and broken teeth.”
The victim told police he was drinking with friends in the area when he left that apartment to go get “things” from his car. On the way back, he told police he “did not realize he had gone to a different building on the way back” and went to the top floor to what he believed was his friend’s apartment. He knocked, but “…when no one answered, he stated he opened the unlocked door and stepped inside.”
“[The victim] then stated that he immediately realized he had entered the wrong apartment, and apologized before closing the door and began walking back towards the stairs in the common area,” the warrant’s narrative says.
An unknown male pursued the victim out of the apartment and “started getting aggressive,” the warrant narrative states. The two exchanged words and as the victim was walking away, he told investigators he “heard footsteps” behind him and turned around at the top of the stairs “approximately 30 feet from the door” and was allegedly punched in the face.
“He fell backwards down the stairs and lost consciousness,” the narrative in the warrant states. The victim told police he regained consciousness as a second male and a female were attempting to help him get to his feet.
The narrative in the warrant states the officers were unsuccessful at making contact with the occupants of the apartment but did speak with the female. Police say she “called McCollough back to the scene.”
Investigators said in the warrant narrative that when McCollough arrived “his right hand was in bandages and blood showing through the bandage.”
McCollough was read his Miranda warning and did not answer any questions, the narrative concludes.
“We learned of it really late yesterday and as we gather more information then I’ll have more for you,” Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel said of McCollough’s arrest at his media availability on Monday.
A preliminary hearing has been set for Friday, Nov. 18, court records show.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with new information.