Former First Coast High and FSU quarterback apologizes for bar incident
Video captures De'Andre Johnson punching woman in the face
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In his first interview since being kicked off the Florida State football team, former quarterback De'Andre Johnson apologized to the woman he punched at a Tallahassee nightclub and said he "should have walked away."
Johnson was arrested on a charge of misdemeanor battery after the June 24 incident at Yianni's.
Surveillance video obtained last week shows Johnson and the woman apparently pushing their way toward the front of the bar. Johnson appears to be nudging his way behind her, at which point she turns around and exchanges words with Johnson.
During the confrontation, Johnson appears to grab the woman's raised hand before she lunges at him with a closed fist.
The video then shows Johnson punch the woman in the face with a closed fist, knocking her back and causing her to spill a drink at the bar.
Johnson was dismissed from the team hours after the video was made public.
The 19-year-old freshman from Jacksonville, speaking exclusively with ABC News, said he regrets the encounter.
"I totally should have walked away," Johnson said. "I'm sorry. If I could do it all over again, I would."
Johnson declined to say whether he had been drinking prior to the altercation.
According to the arrest report the victim's eye was bruised. She suffered swelling to her left cheek and upper lip as well as a small cut.
When asked whether the 21-year-old woman shouted racial epithets at him as his attorney said, Johnson said it doesn't matter.
"What matters is that I shouldn't have raised my hand to her," Johnson said. "I should have walked away."
Johnson's mother, Pamela Jones, said she was so angry at her son that she "wanted to jump through the phone and wring his neck." Johnson said he wasn't raised to hit a woman and had never done so before.
"I would like to say to her and her family that I am severely sorry," Johnson said."My mother, she didn't raise me this way. It kills me inside to know that I hurt her heart. I cry. I cried for three days. I still cry, and for this to happen, I'm sorry."
Johnson told ABC that he does understand FSU's decision to kick him off the team but despite that, he is devastated.
Johnson said he is forbidden by the court to reach out to the young woman he hit but he does want her and her family to know that he is "severely sorry."
He is now volunteering at a battered women's shelter; he is due back in court late this month.
The woman declined to comment to ABC News.
Johnson enrolled at FSU early and completed eight of 11 passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns for the Seminoles in April's spring game.
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