Tennessee football player accused of punching Miami Beach police officer

Defensive back Kenneth George Jr. arrested Wednesday

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – A University of Tennessee football player is accused of punching a Miami Beach police officer and then running from officers who tried to take him into custody.

Tennessee defensive back Kenneth George Jr. was booked into the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center early Thursday.

George faces charges of battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting an officer with violence, resisting an officer without violence and disorderly conduct.

According to a Miami Beach police report, George was being combative with officers who was walking in the middle of Espanola Way.

Police said George was cursing at one of the officers and ignoring his commands. As the officer tried to get him out of the street, George punched him and knocked the police radio out of his hands, the report said.

George then ran away before other officers caught up with him near Espanola Way and Washington Avenue, the report said.

According to the report, once in custody, George said, "He hit me first. Why can't I hit him back?"

The officer had to be treated by paramedics for some cuts to his knees and elbow.

A redshirt junior from Lafayette, Louisiana, George missed most of the 2018 season with a leg injury. He joined the Volunteers after spending the 2016 and 2017 seasons at Trinity Valley Community College in Texas.

George was released from jail on an $11,500 bond.

"We are aware of the situation and are gathering facts as the appropriate processes run their course," team spokesman Zach Stipe said in a statement to Local 10 News.