Tennessee Vols defensive back Bryce Thompson arrested on domestic assault charges

Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / University of Tennessee defensive back Bryce Thompson (20) returns a kickoff during the Orange and White spring football game at Neyland Stadium on Saturday, April 13, 2019 in Knoxville, Tenn.
photo Bryce Thompson

KNOXVILLE - University of Tennessee football player Bryce Thompson was arrested Saturday night and charged with domestic assault, according to multiple media reports published Sunday.

According to police and court records obtained by the Knoxville News Sentinel, the sophomore defensive back and a woman got into an argument Saturday night at Stokely Hall, an on-campus dormitory, with Thompson telling her he would "slap the (expletive) out of " her and threatening to "shoot up the school," witnesses told police.

He later admitted to breaking a metal gate at the end of the hallway of the dorm but denied making any threats of physical contact with her, and she told police she couldn't remember "the entirety of what had occurred between the two as it was a stressful volatile situation," though she did mention Thompson has punched walls in their past arguments and has a temper.

Thompson and the woman told officers they have been in a relationship for four years. The argument occurred after she "found another girl's fake eyelashes" in Thompson's room.

One witness heard the two threats and the noise of gate crashing and said he saw Thompson.

Another witness heard the slapping threat and the crash, and another heard yelling and the shooting threat. Although neither of those two saw Thompson at the time, they identified him by saying "it was the same time and incident" reported by the witness who said he did see Thompson.

According to the police report, Thompson was taken into custody and charged with domestic assault because he caused his girlfriend to "reasonably fear imminent bodily injury."

Tennessee issued a statement regarding Thompson, saying: "We are aware of the situation and are waiting for additional information while the appropriate processes take place."

Thompson was released Sunday morning on $3,000 bond and has a court date scheduled for Sept. 3.

The 5-foot-11, 181-pounder was a four-star recruit from Dutch Fork High School in Irmo, South Carolina, in the 2018 signing class. He played in all 12 games for the Volunteers last season, starting 10, and had 34 tackles (four for loss) with a sack, three interceptions, 10 passes defended and a forced fumble.

Those accomplishments led to him being named one of the Southeastern Conference's All-Freshman honorees and making the Football Writers Association of America's Freshman All-America lineup.

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @genehenley3 or at Facebook.com/VolsUpdate.