NFL star sued for alleged assault but player’s lawyer claims he was acting in self-defence

Lawyer for Vikings running back alleged he was defending himself during the altercation last year

<p>Dalvin Cook</p>

Dalvin Cook

Minnesota Vikings star Dalvin Cook has reportedly claimed through his lawyer that his former girlfriend Gracelyn Trimble broke into his home before he allegedly assaulted her in November 2020.

The claim made by Mr Cook’s lawyer, David Valentini, came amid a lawsuit filed by Ms Trimble against Mr Cook on Tuesday for assault, battery and false imprisonment in a Minnesota Court, and obtained by The Independent.

Ms Trimble alleged that she was thrown against a coffee table and suffered a broken nose, as well as concussion, bleeding and multiple injuries at the NFL running back’s home on 19 November 2020.

It was alleged that he “repeatedly threatened to kill her while pointing a gun at her head”, and, according to the lawsuit, Ms Trimble “was unable to leave his home that day”.

Ms Trimble said Mr Cook become angered with her for asking for help unloading her bags from a car, and that she had entered via the garage with a door opener that his attorney, Mr Valentini, claimed was “stolen”.

She was allegedly headed to his address to break up and take her belongings, having heard of allegations of “infidelity”, and so grabbed a mace expecting to defend herself from Mr Cook.

When the altercation began, Ms Trimble alleged that she was overpowered by the NFL running back, and assaulted, the lawsuit claims. “Instead, the mace primarily sprayed into Trimble’s eyes”.

Mr Cook told Ms Trimble hours later that night, “I know what I did can’t be rewind...If you wanna go to the police I’ll respect that I’ll take my punishment for what I did!” The texts were included in the lawsuit.

She messaged back by saying that she would be unable to see her parents for Thanksgiving 2020 – apparently because of the visibility of her injures – and shared images of her face with cuts.

Ms Trimble eventually sought medical assistance and found out that she had suffered a concussion, the lawsuit claimed, in addition to “deep cuts and bruising”.

Mr Valentini told DailyMail.com on Tuesday night that Mr Cook had the right to defend himself under Minnesota law during the altercation between the couple, who were described as being “on and off”.

He alleged that she sprayed the mace at two guests inside Mr Cook’s home, and that Ms Trimble was injured when Mr Cook tried to stop her from assaulting a female guest.

According to her lawsuit, the guests were Mr Cook’s cousin and his girlfriend, although it remains unclear exactly how many guests were with Mr Cook and Ms Trimble that night.

Mr Valentini added that Ms Trimble had caused damage to Mr Cook’s home before, and that he was “confident a full disclosure of the facts will show Mr Cook did nothing wrong”, although it remains to be seen what those “facts” were on Wednesday.

Dalvin Cooks, a running back for Minnesota Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings released a statement on Tuesday saying it had “received notification from Dalvin Cook’s legal representative regarding a situation that occurred between Dalvin and a female acquaintance in November 2020 and led to an ongoing dispute between the parties”.

The NFL added that the altercation was being “reviewed under the personal conduct policy and that it “will continue to monitor developments but there’s no change to (Cook’s) status.” The Vikings said the team was “gathering more information”.

Mr Cook was due to train with the Minnesota Vikings on Wednesday, NFL Media reported, but that there was uncertainty about his involvement in Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Ms Trimble and Mr Cook reportedly split in May this year.

The Independent has approached both attorneys for additional comment.

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