According to police, on the evening of Sept. 18, Chapa and his then girlfriend were in his apartment at The Grove complex when a verbal argument turned physical. The girlfriend, who was not an ACU student, filed an assault complaint against Chapa nine days later on Sept. 27, claiming he “choked her until she could not breathe,” according to an Abilene Police Department report.
In a statement, head coach Ken Collums confirmed the assault charge led to Chapa’s removal from the team.
“I first learned of the allegation against Tyler Chapa on Oct. 1 and informed him that morning that he was temporarily suspended from the team until further information came to light in the investigation,” he said.
Chapa, junior from San Antonio, declined to comment.
Chapa was arrested Oct. 3 and charged with family violence assault by choking – a third-degree felony – and released on $10,000 bond the same day, according to public records. A third-degree felony is punishable by prison time of two to 10 years and a fine up to $10,000.
Chapa, who has not played a game since ACU’s victory over Troy University on Sept. 13, nevertheless has been a key player in the Wildcats defensive secondary. He recorded 14 tackles in three games for ACU and was tied for the team lead last season with two interceptions, scoring on one.
Two days after the incident, ACU faced the University of the Incarnate Word, a game in which Chapa did not play because of an injury. The next week, the day the complaint was filed, Chapa did not play when ACU faced Houston Baptist. On Friday, Oct. 3 at 3:10 p.m., police arrested Chapa in Abilene and booked him on the charges.
“When (ACU police chief) Jimmy Ellison notified me on Oct. 3 that a warrant was being issued and that the ACU Police Department would be taking him into custody, I told Tyler that he was immediately suspended from the ACU football program,” Collums said. “Tyler will not be part of any team-related activities or functions.”
Taylor County prosecutors will decide whether to take the charges to a grand jury which will determine whether enough evidence exists to proceed to a trial.