MINNEAPOLIS - The roommate of the Minnesota Vikings player on trial for assault took the stand Monday morning in a Hennepin County courtroom.

William Grishaw, who said he has known Cook since they were 14 years old, was subpoenaed by the prosecution and testified Monday.

Cook, now 25, is accused of choking his girlfriend at his Eden Prairie apartment last October.

Grishaw's testimony was based on a nearly 20-minute phone conversation he had with Cook on October 24, three days after the alleged incident, while Cook was still in custody.

On Monday, one-minute and 24 seconds of the recorded phone call was played for the court. In that excerpt, prosecutors said Cook tells Grishaw to try to persuade the victim.

"If she would say, 'he didn't do this,' this [expletive] would go away," Cook said in the phone call.

Grishaw testified he did not try to influence the woman.

Cook sat impassively throughout the testimony.

Defense attorney David Valentini brought up another portion of the phone call that was not played in court. Valentini said during that same conversation with Grishaw, Cook seemed confused about the choking allegation.

Quoting the taped conversation, Valentini told the court Cook said "I don't know where that strangulation [expletive] came from. That strangulation [expletive] is crazy. I never choked the [expletive]."

Cook is expected to testify Tuesday.

According to opening statements, Cook, Grishaw, the victim and another man went to dinner and visited a strip club on Oct. 21. Eden Prairie policewere called to Cook's apartment in the early hours of Oct. 22.

Cook, a cornerback for the Vikings, appeared in six games last season beforebeing suspended without pay by the team after charges were filed against him.

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