A Houston Cougars defensive end is accused of choking his girlfriend last week, court records show.
Chidozie Nwankwo, 18, was arrested and charged with assault of a family member-impending breathing after his girlfriend told officers she asked for help with her hair and he became enraged, records show.
Nwankwo’s girlfriend of three years said in the report that he grabbed her by the neck, slammed her into the wall, then squeezed her throat to the point she had to gasp for air.
The report states Nwankwo struck her in the face with his open hand, and as she tried to leave, he pushed her face into the mattress.
His bail was set at $5,000 after an emergency order of protection was granted for the female victim. He has since been released.
Nwankwo is forbidden from coming within 200 feet of the female victim or making contact with her, among other measures, records show.
The University of Houston told Click2Houston that Nwankwo is currently suspended from the football program, pending further information.
“We are aware of the serious allegations regarding Chidozie Nwankwo,” the university said on Monday. “In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the athletics department’s ability to comment on specific cases is restricted.”
Nwankwo appeared in all eight games for the Cougars, making six starts at nose guard this season. The true freshman accounted for 11 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss in seven of eight contests.
Nwankwo’s player bio is still active on the Cougar’s 2020 roster.