Mississippi State signee Jeffery Simmons has been charged with simple assault and disturbing the peace after a video was released showing him striking a woman.
Simmons, the top-rated signee in Mississippi State’s 2016 signing class, is accused of striking a woman several times on Thursday evening at Mayfair Apartments in Macon, according to Macon Police Chief Lucious Mason. The incident occurred around 6:30 p.m., Mason said.
Simmons, who lives at the apartment complex, was issued two citations for simple assault and disturbing the peace by fighting. Both are misdemeanor charges. Four others, another man and three women, will be charged in the incident, Mason said.
Monday, MSU spokesperson Sid Salter said, “We are aware of the situation. As more details become available, we will continue to evaluate the situation.”
Coach Dan Mullen did not return multiple requests for comment on the situation.
The video shows a woman, surrounded by a large group of people, lying in the street, covering her head. A man The Clarion-Ledger and other media outlets have identified as Simmons stands over her and repeatedly pummels her with his fists as she covers her head. Screaming can be heard in the background as children stand watching.
“It’s ridiculous,” Mason said. “I’m at a loss for words. This isn’t something that should have happened.”
Mason noted that children were watching the incident unfold and said, “it’s just appalling that adults would get into a situation like that around kids.”
Simmons posted an apology on his Facebook account, saying, in part, “I take full responsibility for my actions on Thursday evening.”
The Clarion-Ledger hasn’t confirmed that the apology is tied to the alleged assault.
Simmons committed and signed with Mississippi State on National Signing Day, by far the biggest moment during an otherwise quiet day for the program. The five-star defensive lineman has been set to enroll at MSU this summer.