James Harrison, Linebacker, Accused of Hitting His Girlfriend
via USA Today Sports
Height / Weight: 6'0 / 242 lbs
College: Kent State University
NFL Draft: 2002 / Undrafted free agent
Career history: Pittsburgh Steelers (2002–2012), Cincinnati Bengals (2013), Pittsburgh Steelers (2014–present)
On March 8, 2008, in Ohio Township, PA, James Harrison was arrested and charged with simple assault and criminal mischief stemming from an incident with his then-girlfriend. According to a police affidavit, Harrison allegedly hit 29-year-old Beth Tibbott. The couple was arguing when Tibbott locked herself in a bedroom and tried to call 911. Harrison allegedly broke down the door, snapped her cell phone in half, and hit her across the face. She called the police after, saying she was afraid of Harrison. Police said Harrison corroborated Tibbott's account of the incident. The couple was reportedly arguing about whether or not to baptize their son.
In April 2008, the Allegheny County District Attorney dropped the charges after Harrison began domestic abuse counseling.
"What Jimmy Harrison was doing and how the incident occurred, what he was trying to do was really well worth it," Dan Rooney, chairman of the Pittsburgh Steelers football team, said to reporters at a press conference two weeks after the initial incident. "He was doing something that was good, wanted to take his son to get baptized where he lived and things like that. She said she didn't want to do it."
Later that day, the Steelers released an official statement from Rooney, saying: "To clarify the comments made earlier regarding the conduct of our players, in no way do we condone domestic violence of any kind. Each incident must be considered on a case-by-case basis. In the situation with James Harrison, he contacted us immediately after his incident and has taken responsibility for his actions."
Harrison did not return Broadly's request for comment.