Volunteers suspend DT Alexis Johnson after assault arrest

Tennessee Volunteers defensive tackle Alexis Johnson was arrested Wednesday night after allegedly assaulting a woman in his apartment, and he subsequently was suspended from the team.

Johnson, 20, faces charges of aggravated assault and false imprisonment. The alleged incident occurred early Sunday morning. Knox County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Martha Dooley told The Associated Press that he was released Thursday on $16,500 bond.

A Tennessee spokesman said that Johnson "has been suspended from all football activities."

University of Tennessee police stated in court documents that Johnson was "play fighting" with a woman in a Knoxville apartment Sunday between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m., and that it escalated until he placed his hands around her throat two to three times.

The woman told police that Johnson placed his hand around her throat and choked her to the point that she thought she was going to pass out. According to the warrants, a witness reported that Johnson "appeared to be really punching her" and that the woman's lip was "busted."

The report further stated that when the woman attempted to exit Johnson's bedroom, he blocked the door to prevent her from leaving. The documents state the woman told police she slapped Johnson in defense and that Johnson "attempted to repetitively" touch and kiss the woman. Police said the woman told Johnson repeatedly that she didn't want to have sex with him. The woman told police that as she attempted to leave the bedroom, Johnson blocked the door.

The woman also told police she and Johnson had previously dated two times and that she had had sex with him once, according to the documents.

As of 1 a.m. Thursday, Johnson had not yet bonded out of the Knox County Detention Center.

Johnson enrolled at Tennessee last month as a transfer from Fort Scott Community College and was expected to bolster the Volunteers' depth along the defensive line immediately.

A four-star prospect from Atlanta, Johnson was the No. 14 overall prospect on the ESPN JC50 and the top defensive tackle.

His arrest comes one day after former Tennessee offensive lineman Mack Crowder was arrested in Florida as part of a sting operation targeting men using the Internet to seek underage women for sex. Crowder completed his Tennessee career this past season.

It also comes one week after six unidentified women filed a lawsuit in federal court that said Tennessee has violated Title IX regulations and created a "hostile sexual environment" through a policy of indifference toward assaults by student-athletes.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.