Demery, an offensive lineman from Brunswick, Georgia, was charged with misdemeanor simple battery and criminal trespass for allegedly choking and shoving his girlfriend, who is also the mother of his 1-month-old child. He was arrested by Athens-Clarke County police around 9:30 p.m. Saturday and transferred to jail, where he was released on $1,500 bond Sunday afternoon.
According to details of an incident report provided to ESPN by an Athens-Clarke County police spokesman, officers were dispatched to a Waffle House because of a report of a man "choking [strangling] a female." Demery and the woman had left the restaurant by the time officers arrived, but she called 911 and said she wanted to press criminal charges against Demery for hitting her.
According to a statement the woman provided to police officers, she and Demery argued and he "began to get loud," so she walked away. She alleged that Demery then told her, "Walk off again, and Imma show you." As she continued to leave, according to police, Demery "came from behind her; grabbing her on the back of her neck; pushing her against the wall, and also grabbing her by the hair."
After friends separated them, the report said, Demery approached the woman again, throwing her and causing her glasses to fall off. She also dropped her cellphone, which caused its screen to crack.
According to police, an independent witness saw the incident take place.
Police officers contacted Demery, and he admitted to having contact with the woman, the report said. The woman told police that Demery had also been physically violent with her in the past.
Demery, 6-foot-6 and 319 pounds, was ranked the No. 195 prospect nationally in the ESPN 300 and the 24th-best player in Georgia.
In May 2015, Georgia officials proposed a conference-wide rule that was eventually adopted by the SEC that banned its schools from accepting transfer athletes who were dismissed from their previous institution for serious misconduct, which includes sexual assault, domestic violence or other forms of sexual violence.
Georgia officials proposed the rule after it dismissed defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor in 2014, after he was arrested and charged with a felony for allegedly hitting his girlfriend with a closed fist and choking her during an argument in his dorm room.
Taylor spent the 2014 season at Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Mississippi and enrolled at Alabama in January 2015. The Crimson Tide dismissed him two months later after he was arrested again on domestic violence charges in Tuscaloosa. Taylor pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of criminal mischief in the Alabama incident, and he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor simple assault, battery and simple battery in the Georgia incident.
The SEC considered expanding the rule to include incoming freshmen last year, after Mississippi State allowed freshman defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons to enroll. He was caught on video delivering several punches to the upper body and head of a woman who was on the ground after she fought with his sister.