Suspended Florida freshman leaving school after 2nd arrest

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida freshman Justin Watkins says he is leaving school three days after he was charged with hitting and strangling his girlfriend.

Watkins said Friday on Twitter he "will be leaving the university of Florida to better my opportunities."

It was unlikely the Gators would have welcomed him back.

The 19-year-old Watkins was arrested Tuesday and charged with two third-degree felonies — false imprisonment/kidnapping and domestic battery by strangulation.

Watkins' girlfriend told campus police he punched and slapped her in the head and shoulders and choked her in her room at an on-campus dormitory. According to the police report, the woman had notable bruises and injuries.

First-year coach Dan Mullen suspended Watkins indefinitely. A day later, Watkins was released from the Alachua County Jail on a $40,000 bond.

It was his second arrest in 10 weeks. On May 9, he allegedly kicked his girlfriend's car, broke her phone and then followed her to Vanguard High School, where she was a student. Watkins was charged with trespassing upon grounds of a public school.

Watkins was one of the top recruits in Mullen's first signing class.

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