Brian Hamacher

Tennessee Football Player Accused of Punching Miami Beach Officer

Kenneth George, 22, was arrested around 3:30 a.m. in the 1400 block of Washington Avenue

A University of Tennessee football player was arrested after Miami Beach Police say he punched an officer in the head early Thursday.

Kenneth George, 22, was arrested around 3:30 a.m. in the 1400 block of Washington Avenue on charges including battery on a police officer, resisting an officer with violence, resisting an officer without violence and disorderly conduct, an arrest report said.

According to the report, officers responded to a combative person, George, who was walking in the westbound lane of Espanola Way. When an officer responded to help his fellow officers, George started yelling profanities and walking toward the officer, the report said.

George punched the officer in the head, and knocked his police radio out of his hand, the report said. George fled on foot but officers caught up to him and took him into custody on Washington Avenue, the report said.

"He hit me first, why can't I hit him back? George said after he was taken into custody, according to the report. The officer received "significant abrasions" on his knees and elbows, and was treated by fire rescue, officials said.

"Thankfully our officer was treated and has since been released. He is expected to make a full recovery," police said in a statement.

George was being held on $11,500 bond Thursday, jail records showed. Attorney information wasn't available.

George is a defensive back and redshirt junior at the University of Tennessee, according to the school's athletics website. His hometown is listed as Lafayette, La.

"We are aware of the situation and are gathering facts as the appropriate processes run their course," the university said in a statement Thursday.

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