Tennessee has indefinitely suspended junior linebacker Aaron Beasley after he was accused of animal abuse to a kitten.
The Knoxville Police Department launched an investigation into a possible animal abuse case after a UT student said she came home last week and found her 6-month-old kitten seriously injured. She told police she believes her roommate's boyfriend, identified as Beasley, hurt the kitten -- whom she said was unable to walk and "screaming in pain" when she tried to touch him.
The Knoxville Police Department on Tuesday said Beasley has been cited for animal cruelty -- a Class A misdemeanor -- by Animal Control officials.
The Bosch Law firm, which is representing Beasley, released a statement Tuesday saying "we vehemently deny this allegation and look forward to a speedy resolution."
According to the police report, Beasley and his girlfriend found the kitten in their room eating their food, and he locked him in the bathroom. His girlfriend told police he left soon after putting the kitten there and denied that he hit the kitten or put him in the toilet. She also told police that when she opened the bathroom door three hours later, the kitten ran into his owner's room.
A second roommate of the accuser told police that she was in her room when the kitten was allegedly abused and heard Beasley's girlfriend say, "You can't do that," before she started crying. The second roommate also claimed that she had a text from the girlfriend saying that Beasley put the kitten in the toilet, according to the police report.
The UT student rushed the kitten to a veterinarian clinic in Knoxville, Tennessee, where records show the animal was suffering from a traumatic brain injury from blunt force trauma to the head, internal bleeding and bruising to the left kidney.
Tennessee announced Beasley's suspension Monday. Athletic department spokesperson Bill Martin said the school had received the incident report from the police department and that Beasley would remain suspended from all team activities while awaiting further information.
Beasley saw action in eight games a year ago and was a potential starter this season for the Vols.