MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Vikings cornerback Chris Cook was charged Tuesday with trying to strangle his girlfriend over the weekend, leaving her with a bloody nose and injuries to her neck.
Cook was charged with felony domestic assault by strangulation, which carries a penalty of up to three years in prison and a $5,000 fine. The 24-year-old Cook was arrested early Saturday and still in custody at midday Tuesday. Messages left with his attorney and his agent were not immediately returned.
According to the complaint: Cook became upset early Saturday when he found out his girlfriend of 10 months had spoken to an ex-boyfriend. The woman told police Cook threw her on the bed at his Eden Prairie home, got on top of her, and grabbed her neck with an open hand, constricting her ability to breathe.
The complaint said the woman freed herself by grabbing Cook’s hair, which he wears in shoulder-length dreadlocks. Cook then struck her in the ear, sending her crashing into a wall. As the woman ran to the living room, he grabbed her neck again and squeezed it.
The complaint also said police arrived to find the woman with a bloody nose. Police said she also had marks on her neck and hemorrhaging in her eye that is consistent with strangulation.
Earlier this year, Cook was found not guilty of brandishing a firearm after allegedly pulling a gun on a neighbor in his home state of Virginia. Vikings coach Leslie Frazier spoke with Cook in the offseason to reiterate the importance of staying out of trouble off the field, and the second-year player emerged as the team’s best in pass coverage. At 6-foot-2, he has the size to match up with taller receivers and the speed to keep up with smaller ones.
While the Vikings fell to 1-6 in losing to Green Bay 33-27 Sunday, Cook was in the county jail a few blocks away.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league is reviewing the matter. Such charges often bring suspensions, per the NFL’s personal conduct policy.