ECU football player dismissed from team after animal cruelty charge

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – An East Carolina University defensive lineman faces a felony animal cruelty charge.

Darius K. Commissiong (Greenville police)
Darius K. Commissiong (Greenville police)

Greenville police officers responded to an apartment in the 100 block of Brownlea Drive for a possible disturbance early Friday morning.

No one was home, but police were able to contact the resident, who agreed to meet police at her apartment.

Once inside, officers and the resident found a 1-year-old Shih Tzu dead.

Animal Protective Services picked up the dog for a necropsy, which found several injuries:

  • Multiple hemorrhages of the skin and body
  • Three freshly cracked ribs resulting in hemorrhaging of the lungs and a collapsed lung
  • Hemorrhaging in the abdomen
  • Hemorrhaging in the left eye
  • Hemorrhaging in the brain
  • Liver had been torn into pieces as a result of trauma
  • Several fractured teeth
  • Chronic complete fracture of the femur in the left rear leg

After talking to witnesses at the scene, police obtained a warrant for 21-year-old Darius K. Commissiong.

He is charged with felony animal cruelty and was booked in the Pitt County Detention Center under a $25,000 secured bond.

Police say he knew the victim and this was not a random incident.

ECU athletics say the Junior was dismissed from the team Friday, according to football head coach Scottie Montgomery.

“While we always want to be in a position to guide young people, unacceptable behavior such as this clearly crosses the line of humanity and simply will not be tolerated,” Montgomery said. “There’s a level of accountability which defines our program, athletics department and East Carolina University, and any conduct which isn’t congruent with those values is unwelcome here.”

Commissiong transferred to ECU in 2015. He played in 10 games as a reserve and made 10 tackles.

Before joining the Pirates, the 21-year-old was also dismissed from Georgia Tech in July 2014 for violating the university’s student-athlete code of conduct, according to his bio on Georgia Tech’s athletic website.

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