The Miami Dolphins waived starting running back Mark Walton Tuesday morning after he was arrested and charged with aggravated battery of a pregnant woman. The woman, who is five weeks pregnant with Walton’s child, was punched in the head and face and slammed against a wall.
Miami Dolphins Statement on Incident
The Dolphins’ General Manager Chris Grier released an initial statement prior to the specifics of the crime. It read:
“We were made aware of a police matter earlier this morning regarding Mark Walton. We hold our players to a high standard and take these matters very seriously. We will have no further comment at this time.
Later on Tuesday morning, the specifics of punching, slamming and who the woman was were released. However, her name has not been publicly released at this time.
The incident occurred at 4:15am Tuesday morning in Davie, FL, near Miami’s facility and officers were immediately called to the scene. The woman said she told Walton of her pregnancy news on Sunday and it further escalated. One officer at the scene said the woman’s left eye was already swollen upon arrival. Walton is booked into Broward County jail.
Walton was Currently Serving Suspension
Walton had currently completed two games of his four-game suspension after violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. It was one of the three arrests Walton accrued in the offseason. Miami was aware of all three arrests, that also included a battery misdemeanor and fleeing police on foot while having a concealed weapon in a rental car that was later deemed a rifle.
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Head coach Brian Flores was adamant about gaining the RB back after his four-game suspension was up in week 13 this season. However, Flores and the team quickly had a change of mindset after hearing of the incident and acted quickly with the waive. Flores has no comment at this time.
NFL Future in Doubt for Dolphins’ Leading Rusher
Walton was the team’s rushing leader, accruing 201 yards (3.8 yards per carry) and 15 catches for 89 yards in two games started this season. He was originally a fourth-round draft pick in 2018 by the Cincinnati Bengals but was later released. It is unclear at this time if the release was solely because of off-field issues.
Walton had been coming to team meetings and the facility when needed without pay during his suspension. Now, he will likely clear waivers and his NFL status in the future is in serious doubt.