SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – After working out for NFL teams just a few weeks ago, former Utah running back Tavion Thomas is now in jail.
Thomas was arrested on three felony counts of domestic violence on April 5th. Count 1 is listed in court documents as “aggravated kidnapping in the course of committing unlawful detention”. Counts 2 and 3 are for “aggravated assault.”
The police officer who responded to the call reported that Thomas has pulled a knife on his girlfriend and took her phone. After she called the police, Thomas allegedly told her that “you’ll be dead before the police find you. I will take your car and drive it all the way to Dayton, Ohio.”
Thomas is being held at the Salt Lake County jail without bail and is scheduled to next appear in court April 21st.
Thomas also has three other accusations of violence towards women in the last six months, and the prosecutor argued that Thomas’ “violent conduct poses a serious threat to the current and future safety of his victims and the community at large.”
Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham was asked about his former player after Tuesday’s spring practice.
“I don’t know a lot of the details,” Whittingham said. “My focus is on this football team here now and on the players that are in the program. That’s my take on that right now.”
Thomas’ girlfriend also stated that Thomas had been physically abusive to her throughout their
Officer Marina Vaughn stated in her report:
“I was called to a domestic with a weapon. Victim stated that A/P pulled a knife on her while in an argument of her trying to leave. Victim stated that she told A/P to leave her apartment several times and he refused. Victim stated she tried going to the bathroom to lock the door while they were arguing but then grabbed a large kitchen knife and took her phone. She stated she was going to the call the police he stated while holding the knife “you’ll be dead before the police find you”. A/P refused to give her the phone back. She tried leaving the house when A/P took her keys from her, not allowing her to leave the room or apartment.
Victim stated she tried going to sleep but was too afraid because A/P had the knife next to him in bed. In the morning Victim woke up to go to the airport she asked A/P for her phone back and A/P refused unless he was the one to drive her to the airport. Victims roommate came into the room and told A/P to give the phone back. A/P told roommate to get out. Victim told roommate to leave from the room because A/P still had the knife near him. Victim left the house without car keys or phone. Victim and roommate quickly left to roommates car where she
told roommate to call the police.
When we made contact with A/P I Mirandized him. I asked him about the knife? He stated that he uses it for protection and to cut food. He states he had it in the bedroom and it’s probably in the kitchen. A/P was found with Victims phone in his pocket. We searched the house for the knife, was unable to find the one missing knife from the knife cube.
Roommate stated she heard A/P deny giving the phone back to victim when they were leaving. Roommate went in the room and told A/P to give it back, A/P told him get out of here, she is not getting the phone back.
Roommate said that’s when victim grabbed her backs quickly and left the house telling him to call the police he threatened her with a knife and did not allow her to leave all night.”
Thomas, who was a first team All-Pac-12 player in 2021 with 1,108 yards and a school-record 21 touchdowns, played sparingly last year and was in and out of the lineup for what were called “personal reasons”.
He finished the 2022 season with 687 yards rushing and 7 touchdowns. Thomas worked out at Utah’s Pro Day last month for NFL scouts, and was hoping to get drafted.
Thomas’ aunt who raised him, passed away in September, and Thomas had struggled to get back on the field ever since. He did seem to turn a corner against Stanford, rushing for a career-high 180 yards and two touchdowns.
But a toe injury sidelined him the rest of the season.
“Most importantly, I want to say thank you to every single person that embraced me here and gave me this opportunity that changed my life,” Thomas wrote on Twitter when he declared for the NFL Draft. “I will never forget the moments and memories I have here, and I will forever be a Ute.”
Thomas had a rough upbringing, and at one point was living out of his car. He originally committed to Cincinnati before playing at Independence Community College in Kansas.