NFL linebacker Reuben Foster appeared in court Thursday to determine whether domestic violence charges alleged and recanted by ex-girlfriend Elissa Ennis are legitimate enough to go to trial.
Ennis, 28, told Los Gatos-Monte Sereno police and Santa Clara County sheriff's deputies on the morning of Feb. 11 that Foster had beat her, dragged her out of the house by her hair and thrown her down the steps of their home on Shannon Road.
Ennis discussed her claims with Detective James Wiens of the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department two days later when she had flown home to her mother's residence in Louisiana, both parties confirmed in court Thursday.
It was in that discussion, Ennis said, that she told Wiens she had made the entire story up and in fact suffered injuries from a fight she had gotten into in San Francisco the night before.
Ennis testified Thursday in Foster's preliminary hearing on domestic violence and other charges that she suffered injuries to the side of her face, her knee, the back of her neck and her eardrum because of a fight she got into with an unnamed woman on her way to Pier 39.
Ennis said the fight took place when she had come from "somewhere near Oakland" after getting her hair done. It began with a traffic dispute and ended with bystanders pulling Ennis and a stranger apart.
Two women got out of the car when Ennis was challenged, and as she described it, "talking trash" through the window.
She said it was possible that both women had come in swinging during the estimated 15-minute-long fight.
A friend who had seen a video of the fight on Instagram sent it to Ennis and at that time she submitted it to her lawyer to turn it in to law enforcement.
Ennis said she lied to police after flagging down local construction worker Eugenio Pirir that morning because Foster had broken up with her and she was mad about it.
"I told him I was going to f--- up his career," she said.
Pirir testified before Ennis and said that she had asked for his phone when he was driving by her and Foster's shared home in Los Gatos and did not give an explanation about who she wanted to call.
Pirir said she walked about six feet from the car and made two phone calls and was acting "pretty calmly."
He heard her say she was asking to call 911, but nothing else. She gave his phone back and walked away, so Pirir assumed she didn't need help after contacting emergency services.
Ennis said that after getting home at 1 or 2 a.m. on the morning of the Feb. 11, she woke up and made breakfast for herself, Foster and a friend who had stayed in the home for about a month.
Foster was irritated with Ennis after she had arrived back home from the fight and had refused to talk to her any longer about it before going to bed. When he walked into the kitchen in the morning, he claimed he wasn't hungry and walked out the door.
Foster walked back into the house and told Ennis "he couldn't do it anymore," she said, at which time she knew the breakup was final.
He walked out of the front door and she chased him down the street, but he ran back and locked her out.
Ennis gained entry through one of the home's many back doors. At that time, she saw Foster on the staircase with her clothes, throwing them down into the foyer. Ennis tried to stop him by hitting him in the face with a hanger, she said.
Foster took off again, again running back inside and closing the door on Ennis, who said she broke one of the home's side doors by kicking at the wood and breaking the rubber seal.
She saw him again throwing her things, at which time she grabbed her purse downstairs and walked into their backyard.
Ennis said she yelled at Foster through the back door that he was "not going to have a job tomorrow."
She called her mother and contemplated what to do next. "I wanted to kill him, I was so hurt," she said in court.
Ennis then made two 911 calls but claimed it was the wrong number the first time and said she didn't need help the second time. Ennis then ran up to Foster and threw the phone that he had bought for her at him and ran into the driveway to flag down Pirir.
Foster left the home in his black SUV and came back right before police showed up to investigate and ultimately take him to jail, Ennis said.
She testified that she was prescribed depression and pain medications and flew back to Louisiana to be with her mother that night.
When Foster was taken to jail, Ennis stole more than $8,000 from his bank account by writing down his account and routing numbers, as well as taking jerseys, designer pieces and two Rolex watches.
Ennis apologized to everyone involved and admitted to recently texting Foster that she wanted him to call her back or she was going to kill herself. She said it was because she was depressed, not because she was still in love with him.
"I'm going to admit myself to a clinic as soon as I leave today," she said.
Foster's attorney Josh Bentley asked why Ennis appeared and spoke in court against the wishes of her own attorney, Stephanie Rickard, when she could be subjected to charges of perjury, theft and more.
"I had to do the right thing," Ennis said.
The court adjourned for a break at noon and the hearing was set to resume this afternoon. Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Nona Klippen will decide at the end of the preliminary hearing whether to order Foster to stand trial on charges in the case.
He is charged with domestic violence, forcefully attempting to prevent a victim from reporting a crime, and possession of an assault weapon, prosecutors said.