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Patriots release defensive back Andrews following assault charge

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots released defensive back Willie Andrews on Tuesday, one day after he was arrested for allegedly pointing a handgun at his girlfriend's head.

The 24-year-old Andrews, primarily a special teams player, was being held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing on Thursday following his second arrest this year.

The team had issued a statement Monday, saying, "The New England Patriots take the conduct of our players very seriously. We are aware of the very disturbing and alarming reports regarding Willie Andrews. We will not offer any additional comment, as is our policy regarding pending legal matters."

The other arrest on charges of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and driving an unregistered motor vehicle occurred in February. Andrews admitted in court in May that there was enough evidence to convict him at trial but did not plead guilty.

On Monday, Andrews was charged with illegal possession of a large capacity firearm and assault with a dangerous weapon, according to Gregg Miliote, director of communications for the Bristol County district attorney's office.

Andrews was arrested after allegedly returning home and having an argument with his girlfriend at about 1 a.m. Monday, Miliote said.

In two seasons since the Patriots drafted him in the seventh round out of Baylor, Andrews returned four kickoffs for 149 yards, including a 77-yard touchdown last season, and had 24 tackles, all but one on special teams.

Notes: The Patriots have signed linebacker Bo Ruud, a sixth-round draft pick from Nebraska. His older brother, Barrett, plays linebacker for Tampa Bay. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Ruud, 23, was the 197th player selected in the 2008 NFL Draft. A three-year starter at Nebraska, he started 33 of 46 games and finished his career with 216 total tackles, including 4.5 sacks.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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