Skip to main content

Gophers' McNeil charged with 2 counts of felony assault; suspended indefinitely

  • Author:
  • Updated:

A University of Minnesota basketball player has been charged with two felonies stemming from an incident at his girlfriend's apartment in which he's accused of strangling her and whipping her repeatedly with a belt.

Daquein McNeil, 20, was charged Wednesday with third-degree assault, a felony, and domestic assault by strangulation, also a felony, according to Hennepin County jail records. If convicted of both charges, he could face up to eight years in prison and/or a fine of up to $15,000, according to state law.

A Statement of Probable Cause says McNeil went to his girlfriend of 10 month's apartment and repeatedly poured cold water over her and then tried to strangle her while saying, "You ruined my life, now I am going to ruin yours."

McNeil is also accused of damaging the victim's belongings with a cooking pan and taking items from her apartment, including her computer and her car, the Statement of Probable Cause says.

McNeil was arrested Monday on charges of probable cause domestic assault and Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced the felony charges at a Wednesday afternoon news conference.

"This situation saddens and disappoints us," Freeman said, referencing McNeil's difficult childhood – his parents died two months apart, so he was raised by his aunt, according to video of the news conference posted by the Star Tribune. "The police report, the witnesses, the photographs of the wounds that his girlfriend has suffered are just not acceptable.’’

On Tuesday, university officials announced McNeil had been suspended from team activities pending the investigation. Following Wednesday's charges, University of Minnesota Athletic Director Norwood Teague issued a statement:

University President Eric Kaler also issued a statement, saying he had zero tolerance for domestic abuse and that he agreed with Teague's decision to immediately suspend McNeil from the team.

McNeil, a sophomore guard, didn’t play much as a freshman, but he’s been a key reserve on this year’s team. Through four games, the 6-foot-3 guard is averaging 3.3 points and 3.3 rebounds and he’s considered a 3-point shooting threat.

The Gophers play in the NIT Season Tip-Off tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York City this week. They play St. John’s on Wednesday and will play the winner or loser of Gonzaga versus Georgia on Friday.

Next Up


Charges: Armed man made death threats at Minneapolis LGBTQ bar

The man allegedly used derogatory terms while threatening to kill someone.


FDA pulls last COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment as new variants rise

A therapy used to treat more than 11,000 Minnesotans is no longer authorized amid a surge in the latest COVID-19 variants.

Austin Robert LeClaire

Charges: Plymouth man shot girlfriend in head after birthday party

The 23-year-old victim is in critical condition as of Friday.


State announces $2.5M in grants for child care providers

Child care providers in roughly a dozen communities will receive funds to help grow the supply of affordable, quality child care.


Probe of Golden Valley police uncovers racism, alleged misconduct

One officer was terminated for alleged racist comments and violations of state law.

blowing snow

Blowing snow Friday in Minnesota; will it snow next week?

Winds could gust up to 50 mph Friday afternoon and night.

Deer hunting blaze orange

To combat CWD, late-season deer hunting announced for 9 areas of MN

The special hunts will be held between Dec. 16 and 18.


COVID levels rising in wastewater; BQ.1 now dominant

BQ.1 is the new dominant subvariant in Twin Cities wastewater.

Screen Shot 2022-12-02 at 11.43.05 AM

Keith Ellison, other AGs settle with CarMax over recall disclosures

As part of the settlement, CarMax now must disclosure open recalls online and on the lot.

police lights squad car

Man kidnaps 2-year-old daughter in St. Paul, crashes after pursuit in Minneapolis

The incident involved both police departments in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

police lights

Boys aged 15, 16 arrested after shooting of teen in Woodbury

The victim suffered non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.


Viking Chris Cook suspended without pay for domestic assault charge

The Minnesota Vikings have suspended cornerback Chris Cook indefinitely without pay. Through a statement, the Vikings said allegations against Cook were “very disturbing and disappointing.” Cook has been charged with felony domestic assault for allegedly choking his girlfriend. Coach Leslie Frazier says the team was "in shock" to hear Cook was arrested.