Predators' Austin Watson arrested on domestic assault charge
26-year-old was a 1st-round draft pick in 2010
Nashville Predators forward Austin Watson was arrested on a charge of domestic assault involving his girlfriend over the weekend.
Franklin Police Lt. Charles Warner said Wednesday that Watson was arrested Saturday evening. Watson was released from jail on $4,500 US bond and is due in court June 28.
According to a Williamson County court affidavit, a Franklin police officer was flagged down by a witness to a possible domestic situation at a gas station. The officer noticed the passenger of a car "trying to back away from being shoved away." The report said the passenger said "stop" and was trying to cover her face.
Watson told police he and his girlfriend were having an argument and he admitted to pushing her. Officers said they found red marks on the woman's chest, and she said Watson had caused them.
Police said the witness provided confirmation.
The affidavit says domestic assault is considered a Class A misdemeanor.
The Predators said in a statement they "are still gathering facts and it's not appropriate for us to comment further at this time." Team officials noted "this is a matter that we are taking very seriously and we will cooperate fully with the investigation by law enforcement."
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement that the league is aware of the situation and "it will be dealt with in due course and prior to next season." Daly added "our focus currently is on the well-being and safety of Austin's girlfriend, their child and Austin himself. "
Last year, Watson appeared alongside other Predators players in a video calling for an end to domestic violence.
The 26-year-old Watson is a former first-round draft pick who scored a career-high 14 goals and had five assists in 76 games during the 2017-18 regular season. He had five goals and three assists in 13 playoff games.
Watson has 23 goals and 24 assists in 216 career regular-season games, all with the Predators.