By Ivan Cazares
Former East Los Angeles College athlete Michael Wyche was cleared of a misdemeanor domestic battery charge filed on him on Oct. 28, 2015, after an altercation with his girlfriend. The incident occurred on Wyche’s 23rd birthday after he returned from football practice.
He was a senior defensive tackle for the University of Miami after transferring from ELAC. Wyche said both he and his girlfriend were under a lot of stress. He said his girlfriend had a few drinks and an argument over sleeping arrangements escalated.
He said insults were exchanged, and the only time he made physical contact with 23-year-old Merrica Jones was when she tried to stop him from walking out the door. “I do not wish to be called a victim in this situation.
I do not wish to testify or discuss this situation any further. Michael Wyche is a great father, a great leader in his community and a great role model,” Jones said in a letter addressed to the Miami-Dade Court that presided over the case.
In the letter, Jones admitted to have been drinking the night of the altercation. She also said Wyche didn’t deserve to be charged. “I didn’t tell a lot of people, but I lost my mom prior to leaving ELAC. While I was in Miami, my mind was still on my mom,” Wyche said.
He also said he didn’t want to be labeled as a man who beats women, which is why he reached out to Campus News. When Wyche was arrested, former ELAC head coach and current offensive line coach at El Camino College Compton Center Steve Mojarro told Campus News he couldn’t believe the allegations because of Wyche’s personality.
“Michael was nothing but a great kid while he was here (ELAC). He would do community service with us (football team) and acted as a father figure with the kids,” Mojarro said. Wyche said the situation put a hold on his studies and his football career.
However, he said it would not stop him from pursuing either one.
He needs 10 more credits to earn his bachelor’s in psychology. He is currently a free agent in the National Football League. He did not want to disclose the team he is dealing with.