Attorneys representing Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill sent the NFL a four-page letter on Thursday morning, denying the child abuse claims discussed in a secret recording made public last week.
Attorney Trey Patton wrote:
‘He categorically denies he has ever ‘punched’ his son in the chest or anywhere on his body, or otherwise touched him in the chest in a mean-spirited manner or as a form of discipline. He also denies that he has ever grabbed his son’s arms and pulled them aside to strike him. There have been occasions when Tyreek has tapped his son gently on the chest with his fingers, while his son was crying and said, ‘man up, buddy’ or ‘don’t cry, my man.’ He has said that in a calm voice trying to redirect him.’
According to the Kansas City Star:
The letter comes more than a week after Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe had announced that though he thought a crime was committed, he didn’t have enough evidence to prove who hurt the 3-year-old son of Hill and Crystal Espinal. Immediate calls to Howe’s office, Pettlon and the NFL were not returned.
After the taped recording of the conversation between Hill and Espinal — who is pregnant with twins — aired, Howe re-opened the case. The Star reported on March 15 that a source familiar with the situation said an incident at Hill’s home left the boy with a broken arm.
‘Why does (he) say ‘Daddy did it?’ Espinal asked Hill in the recording that KCTV-5 obtained and aired on April 25. ‘A 3-year-old is not going to lie about what happened to his arm.’
In Thursday’s letter, Pettlon described the broken arm as the result of an accident. The letter also addresses allegations that Hill and Espinal both said the other spanked their little boy. Espinal said in the recording that she never used a belt to discipline their child and Hill argued that she did.
Also problematic for Hill, will be the portion of the 11-minute recording when the NFL star says to his girlfriend, “You need to be afraid of me too bitch.” A comment which is not only a threat towards Espinal, but also implies that there is indeed cause to be fearful of him.
While the legal case involving Hill unfolds, the threshold of proof or evidence required to trigger action under the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy is comparatively small. The Chiefs have suspended Hill while the investigation proceeds.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn