Police: Physical altercation with girlfriend led to arrest of Georgia’s Rara Thomas

ATHENS — The events that preceded the felony arrest of Georgia football player Rara Thomas early Monday started with an argument with his longtime girlfriend in UGA’s McWhorter Hall dormitory.

That’s according to the field case report provided by UGA Police on Tuesday. Thomas, a rising junior wide receiver from Eufaula, Alabama, was charged with false imprisonment, a felony, and battery/domestic violence, a misdemeanor.

According to the arresting officer, police were called to the dorm at 11:58 p.m. Sunday by a UGA employee, who told them that a loud argument in Room 422 had spilled out in the hallway and that the residents had gone back in and were still arguing.

Responding officers subsequently interviewed Thomas, whose given name is Rodarius, and his girlfriend, first together, then separately. Both parties said the argument had turned physical.

Officers reported that they observed injuries on the female that were consistent with the testimony given. They said Thomas had bruises on his forearms, but that Thomas insisted they were from “a sporting event.” Thomas played wide receiver at Mississippi State before transferring to UGA earlier this month.

Because Thomas is alleged to have taken his girlfriend’s iWatch and cellphone and, at one point, refused to let her leave the dorm, police charged him with false imprisonment, a felony. Because the couple had lived together in Mississippi and Alabama, Thomas also was charged with battery/family violence/first offense.

The alleged victim was not charged for breaking Thomas’ laptop computer, valued at $1,200.

Because he was charged with a felony, Thomas is immediately suspended from competition, per UGA Athletic Association’s code of conduct for student-athletes. Eventually, Thomas’ case will be discussed by the athletic association’s comprehensive action committee, which consists of senior administrators and the faculty athletics representative, and a recommendation will be forwarded to athletic director Josh Brooks. Depending on the status of the legal case, the outcome could range from dismissal, altered financial aid, suspension or return to competition.

UGA issued a statement about Thomas’ arrest Monday:

“We are aware of a reported incident involving conduct by one of our student-athletes. While we are limited in what we can say about the incident, the report is disappointing and not reflective of the high standards we have for our student-athletes on and off the field. In addition to following internal Athletic Association policies, we will be working closely with our administration to ensure we cooperate fully with all law enforcement and campus protocols.”

Thomas is a 6-foot-2, 202-pound wide receiver. He was Mississippi State’s leading receiver as a sophomore last season with 44 catches for 626 yards and seven touchdowns and was expected to be an immediate contributor for the two-time defending national champion Bulldogs next season.