By Craig Kwasniewski
While we're in the middle of celebrating Larry Johnson's 4 TD performance against Seattle on Sunday, while the media is goes down on Larry Johnson (after giving a courtesy reach-around to Peyton, of course), let's not forget that Larry Johnson is a twice-arrested domestic abuser.
Because ESPN is literally in bed with the NFL, most non-TO criminal activities get immediately buried in the back web-pages. Really a sad affair in news reporting that "the worldwide leader" is not a worldwide leader as a news source. (the one benefit was the creation of Deadspin.com as a result of the Ron Mexico story, another example of ESPN glossing over NFL infractions)
Let's get back to the matter at hand... Larry Johnson has been arrested twice for domestic abuse. The past infraction happened in September of 2005 for "an altercation with his girlfriend at a bar." According to the Associated Press:
Police Department spokesman Darin Snapp said the Chiefs running back was cited for domestic abuse assault. Johnson posted bond and was released, with a court date set for Sept. 20 on the municipal charge.
Snapp said the girlfriend came into the bar and saw Johnson with a different woman. The 25-year-old girlfriend, of Overland Park, Kan., saw Johnson and walked the other way, Snapp said, but Johnson text messaged her on her phone and asked her to meet him downstairs.
The running back then grabbed the woman by the arm and pulled her to the front door, Snapp said, where Johnson asked the manager to make her leave. The manager said he couldn't do that.
Snapp said Johnson became irate after his girlfriend confronted his date. The running back grabbed the victim by the shoulders and shoved her, causing her to fall onto the floor, the police report said.
The girlfriend told The Kansas City Star, in a story on its Web site, that the police report was wrong and denied that she was pushed or dragged to the door. Snapp said the woman told police she didn't want Johnson arrested, but instead just wanted the incident documented.
Friends convinced the woman the next day to file a police report after seeing bruises on her arms, Snapp said.
Obviously she fell down some stairs...
So what happened as a result of the arrest? Larry Johnson ran for 110 yards and two touchdowns against the New York Jets the next day and the story was immediately buried in the back pages. Lesson learned here, beat your wife/girlfriend during the week, score TD's on weekends.
Also in the same associated press article was a mention of a 2003 incident where Johnson "was charged in December 2003 with aggravated assault, a felony, and misdemeanor domestic battery." He allegedly was brandishing a gun during an argument with an ex-girlfriend at his home.
I looked for the story and could only find a copy of it here on www.chiefsplanet.com. Obviously, the NFL/ESPN has buried this one. Here's the story in it's entirety:
Posted on Fri, Dec. 05, 2003
Larry Johnson arrested in domestic abuse case
By TONY RIZZO, Kansas City Star
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Kansas City Chiefs voiced their support for running back Larry Johnson on Friday after domestic violence charges were filed against him.
Johnson, the Chiefs' first-round draft pick this year, was arrested early Friday at his south Leawood home. He is accused of slapping his girlfriend in the face and threatening her with a handgun during an argument at his home. The 22-year-old woman, who lives in Pennsylvania, called police from a neighbor's yard shortly after 1 a.m. Friday.
Prosecutors charged Johnson, 24, with a felony count of aggravated assault and a misdemeanor charge of battery. Defense attorney Kevin Regan represented Johnson at his initial court appearance later Friday and entered not-guilty pleas on his behalf.
General manager Carl Peterson expressed disappointment in hearing the news of the charges but said the team would wait to get all the facts before taking any action.
"Knowing the head coach, he always considers someone innocent until proven guilty," Peterson said.
Indeed, coach Dick Vermeil expressed confidence in a favorable resolution and said he hadn't ruled out Johnson for this weekend's game in Denver.
"I kind of believe he will be there, but I don't know, guys," he said. "I know very little more than you do. I've been told his side of it, and I believe him....
"(I) always believe the player. You know him so well. I always go on that side."
Regan said he would apply for the district attorney's diversion program, which is a probation-like agreement. If Johnson successfully completes the program, the charges would be dismissed.
"We vehemently deny that he threatened her or touched her in any way, shape or form," Regan said after the hearing.
Police recovered a handgun, but Regan said it is legally owned by Johnson and was not loaded.
In arguing for a personal-recognizance bond, Regan said Johnson once had to call police to his home in Pennsylvania because of the woman. He said Johnson has no criminal record, is a homeowner and has performed volunteer work for area charities.
"He's been a good citizen," Regan said after the hearing. "He's a good kid."
Assistant District Attorney Brian Lipford asked for a $5,000 bond, and Magistrate Judge James Phelan complied. The judge set several bond conditions, including no contact with the alleged victim, no use of alcohol and drugs and no possession of firearms.
Johnson's next court hearing was scheduled for Jan. 7. Regan hopes to know by then whether the diversion will be granted .
Meanwhile, it appears Johnson will be met with open arms by many of his teammates.
"He's come into this group and to this team, and he's fit very well," said fullback Tony Richardson. "He's definitely going to need our support. He's going to be asking for it. That's the type of team we have. We're a close-knit group. It's a big family around here."
As a result of the case, Johnson was required to complete 120 hours of community service, attend an anger management course and stay out of trouble for two years.
And his little brother is leaning from the best, he was arrested for a DUI on October, 2003.
All I'm saying is, let's not forget who the REAL Larry Johnson is.