Greg Hardy, Defensive End, Accused of Assault and Communicating Threats
via USA Today Sports
Position: Defensive end
Height / Weight: 6'5" / 280 lbs
College: University of Mississippi
NFL draft: 2010 / Round: 6 / Pick: 175
Career history: Carolina Panthers (2010–2014), Dallas Cowboys (2015–present)
On May 13, 2014, in Charlotte, NC, Greg Hardy was arrested and charged with assault on a female and communicating threats, stemming from an alleged incident involving his former girlfriend. According to the alleged victim's complaint and request for a protective order, Hardy picked her up and threw her into a bathtub, picked her up out of the bathtub by her hair, threatened to kill her and break her arms, dragged her to into the bedroom, choked her with both hands while she was on the floor, and picked her up over his head and threw her down "onto a couch covered with assault rifles and/or shotguns." According to the request for protective order, Hardy bragged that all of the firearms were loaded. The alleged victim told police that she begged to be let out of Hardy's apartment, and when she finally escaped she "crawled into the elevator and ran into [the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department]."
Transcripts from Hardy's 911 call during the incident conflict with the alleged victim's story.
She's hit me in the face twice. She won't get out. We're trying to get her out of my house. She keeps running back in every time. My neighbor is outside, she's witnessed everything... Somebody please come... I have a videotape of everything. Keep her away from me, please. My assistant is trying to retain her. She's trying to break free, hit me with her heel. Now I'm literally running around the table right now. She's trying to hit me with a shoe.
Two other 911 calls were placed at the same time, one by Hardy's neighbor and another by his apartment building's attendant. In one of those calls, a female caller said, "Some girl's getting her ass beat upstairs, and I heard it."
On July 15, 2014, Hardy was found guilty of assault and communicating threats. He was given a 60-day suspended sentence and 18 months probation. Mecklenburg County Judge Rebecca Thorne Tin said she believed Hardy tried to hide his actions with a fabricated 911 call. Hardy's attorney's immediately announced that they would appeal.
In February 2015, with his appeal set to begin, charges against Hardy were dismissed after his accuser became uncooperative with authorities. Charlotte District Attorney R. Andrew Murray told the court, "The State further has reliable information that Ms. Holder has reached a civil settlement with the Defendant." Prosecutors were unable to reach the alleged victim to give her a subpoena.
In March 2015, Hardy signed a one-year contract with the Dallas Cowboys.
Despite his charges being dismissed, the NFL conducted its own two-month-long investigation into the incident. In April 2015, Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Hardy for ten games without pay, saying in a statement that there was "sufficient credible evidence" that Hardy had "violated NFL policies in multiple respects and with aggravating circumstances." However, an arbiter later had the ten-game suspension reduced to four games.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told Broadly, "Commissioner [Goodell] ultimately responded to all the information [from Hardy's case] by suspending the player for ten games and used strong language about the Commissioner's findings rejecting Hardy's story. We should be judged for totality of the investigation and the decision to suspend for ten games."
McCarthy went on to add that it was Harold Henderson who reduced the suspension to four games following the NFLPA's appeal. The NFL had appointed Henderson—who is a former NFL executive—to serve as arbiter.
On November 5, 2015, the charges were expunged from Hardy's record.
On November 6, 2015, Deadspin obtained and posted hundreds of pages of court records, police reports, and transcripts, along with dozens of graphic photos of the victim's injuries, that the NFL had used in its investigation into Hardy, all of which provide extensive evidence of assault.
Hardy did not return Broadly's request for comment.