GREENSBORO — The alleged abuse of a 22-year-old woman at the hands of a former NFL player was detailed Friday by police during his first appearance in Guilford County Courthouse.
Desmond La'Quawn Harrison, 25, of 612 Sharing Terrace in Greensboro, is charged with assault on a female and assault inflicting serious injury by strangulation.
The Arizona Cardinals cut Harrison on Wednesday after Greensboro police issued his arrest warrants. He turned himself into police Friday morning.
Greensboro Police Sgt. Dale Nix told Guilford County District Court Judge Angela Fox during Harrison's appearance that Harrison struck the woman several time with the palm of his hand and strangled her.
Nix repeated for the judge the details the woman provided to police. — News & Record does not normally identify alleged victims of domestic abuse.
The woman said she woke up Tuesday morning and had consensual sex with Harrison. She said he became angry and slapped her so hard against her head her ear rang.
Nix said the woman told police she tried to defend herself from the strike and inadvertently hit Harrison making him angrier.
The woman then told police that Harrison struck her multiple times before putting pressure on her neck and applying his full weight until she stopped breathing, Nix said.
She told officers, "Des could have killed me," and she had never seen his face look the way it did Tuesday, Nix said.
Nix told Fox that the bruises and scrapes on her neck were consistent with strangulation and provided photos of the woman's injuries.
Nix added that the woman received phone calls from Harrison's manager telling her that they would pay her to recant her story.
Others of Harrison's friends and family members had contacted the woman, said Sonya Desai, the client services coordinator for the Guilford County Family Justice Center.
Desai said the victim is concerned for her safety, wants Harrison to be held accountable but also wants him to get help.
Harrison's attorney, Jason Aycoth, said his client denies the allegations.
Aycoth told Fox about the Cardinals decision to cut Harrison and said he is not a flight risk.
Aycoth said Harrison grew up in Greensboro and lives in the city part-time with his mother. He also has a brother and sister living in the area.
The attorney said his client poses no threat to the community and spent the weekend volunteering with children who have serious medical conditions.
Fox removed Harrison's domestic hold, which kept him in the Guilford County jail and set his bail at $5,000 secured. He faced a maximum of $10,000 secured.
She ordered Harrison to submit to a mental-health evaluation within the next seven days, comply with all recommended treatment and not to talk to the woman directly or indirectly.
The Associated Press reported Harrison went undrafted in 2017 after playing at West Georgia. He also attended Texas, where he was suspended from the team several times. He signed with the Browns and started eight games last season before being benched.
The Browns released him after he missed the first day of their minicamp in early June.