Grand Jury

When I wrote my blog about Johnny Manziel’s Dallas situation yesterday, I wasn’t expecting there to be any movement on the case anytime soon. A news report claimed that the detective working the case had been put on a special  patrol duty and any findings would be delayed.That turned out to only be partially true – the detective had completed his investigation and turned his findings over to his superiors for review and a decision. Late this afternoon the DPD announced that they are turning the case over to the Dallas County District Attorney with the recommendation that the investigation be turned over to  a grand jury. Dallas news outlets reported that the police said that they had insufficient evidence to charge Manziel with a Class A misdemeanor for assault.

This move by the DPD has opened a lot of questions. Dallas attorneys have said this is very unusual. One lawyer claimed it means they have evidence against Manziel but another well-known attorney says just the opposite. He believes the DPD wants to get rid of the case and let somebody else be responsible. This same attorney has said previously that a recommendation to turn a case over to a grand jury is a “red flag” that there are problems with the case. He says that the move may be an indication that the evidence they have does not support Miss Crowley’s allegations, which is very likely the situation.

What does this mean for Manziel? Right now, nothing. If the DA decides to put the case before a grand jury, then it will mean he will most likely be called to appear before them (without an attorney present.)  It is possible the DA will decide to drop the prosecution. In the event he is indicted, then he will have the option of a plea bargain or pleading not guilty, which would mean the case would go to trial in which case the odds are that he will be found not guilty. The charge mentioned as  a result of Crowley’s allegations is Class A Assault, a misdemeanor. It’s Class A because she suffered some injury. Texas laws limits punishment for such a misdemeanor to a maximum of one year in jail, a $4,000 fine or both. Since this would be a first offense for Manziel, he would most likely get probation (if the prosecutor is determined to get a conviction, she will no doubt offer probation as an incentive for him to plea bargain.)

This case could be over in a week or it may drag on for months or even years.





Crowley Statement

The world received shocking news a week ago when Forth Worth, Texas police revealed that Johnny Manziel, a notorious NFL football player, had been involved in an incident that resuled in a 911 call. Although the police did not talk to Manziel, they talked to a 23-year old woman named Colleen Crowley who claimed to be his ex-girlfriend. Although the police determined that no crime had occurred within their jurisdiction, something might have happened in Dallas.

It has now come out that Colleen Crowley has retained a well-known Dallas divorce lawyer. She is claiming she has a ruptured eardrum due to Manziel slapping her.


 The above image is the statement Colleen Crowley, Johnny Manziel’s former girlfriend, drafted and signed on Monday, February 1, at least 36 hours after the incident occurred. Bear in mind that at the time referenced in the statement, Crowley was intoxicated. In fact, the original report sent out by the Fort Worth police, which did not contain names, said the woman was intoxicated. (I’ve been unable to find the Tweet but my recollection is that it used the word “inebriated.”) We assume that by the time Crowley (or her attorney) drew up the statement, she had sobered up. She says in her statement that she left a Dallas restaurant at 11:15 and didn’t arrive at Manziel’s hotel room at the Zaza Hotel until 2 1/2 hours later, at 1:45. (There are discrepancies between her account and that of the Fort Worth police, which says officers were called at around 2:00 AM. Dallas and Fort Worth are 30 miles apart.)
A careful reading of Crowley’s statement reveals only one allegation that could possibly be substantiated, and then only if it happened within the range of a security camera. That is her claim that he grabbed her hair and threw her in the car (her own.) The only other allegation of bodily harm is the claim that he slapped her left ear (with his open hand.) She claims hearing loss and her attorney says she has a ruptured eardrum but she also indicates that she was attacking him while he was driving and he was pushing her away. She says she hit her head on a window. In short, Manziel may or may not have caused her injury.
Crowley says that she and Manziel had been texting during the time she was clubbing and that she made plans to spend the night with him. However, she also says that they broke up “in December” after living together for “four months” which raises the question of why he invited her to his room. She states that Manziel was not intoxicated; in fact, the most recent media account of him states that he was seen at a basketball game drinking ice water. It is clear from Crowley’s statement that he was not with her and her friends while they were partying. After she got to his room and her friends left, she accosted Manziel about another girl, a girl she evidently doesn’t  like, with whom he had evidently been seen. She says the other girl “had caused problems for us in the past”. She says she told Manziel she was going to sleep on the couch then says he “threw me on the bed,” but acknowledges that he said it was “playfully.”  It is at that point that things started developing.
Crowley acknowledged to Fort Worth police (but does not mention it in her statement) that Manziel was concerned about her drunken condition and did not want her to leave, which makes sense. It was the wee hours of the morning and her car was parked half a mile away. A drunk girl on the street at 3:00 AM is a target for any pervert who might see her. Then she had a drive of at least 30 miles before her and she was obviously drunk. Manziel decided he would drive her to her car and then drive her home in her own vehicle. Crowley says that he “restrained” her, which evidently means that he had her by the arm.
Now, let’s be frank – her statement reveals that the woman freaked out, just as she had done back in October when she got drunk at a restaurant then tried to climb through the window while he was driving on the freeway. She also threw his wallet out the window before police came up after being notified that a couple were having a fight on the side of the road. In the recent episode, she got mad because he had been seen with another girl and didn’t want him to take her to her car and drive her back to her apartment in Fort Worth. She says she started crying and hitting him. She claims he took her down the back stars of the luxurious hotel where he was staying to the valet. Now, this doesn’t make sense because valet stations are at the front entrance of hotels. She claims she protested to the valet that she feared for her life but the valet responded that he didn’t know what to do. (All he had to do was pick up his phone.)
Crowley does not mention any kind of physical assault until after they got in her car – he first drove her to where it was parked in his own car – and she jumped out and tried to get away. She claims that after he got her back in her car (she says he pulled her by her hair) and got in on the drivers side, he slapped the left side of her face with his open hand. She claimed she couldn’t hear out of it afterward and her lawyer says she has a ruptured hearing. (Loss of hearing is not necessarily the result of a ruptured eardrum.) That is actually the only time she says he hit her. In fact, she says she was hitting him as he  drove out of Dallas.  She says he pushed her away and she hit her head on the window and fell onto the floorboard. Now, the girl is 5’7″. How she would have fallen onto the floorboard is beyond my comprehension although she was drunk at the time.
She says that after they got back to her apartment the altercation continued but that it was verbal. (She doesn’t say who was doing the talking.) She finally grabbed a kitchen knife and went after him, at which time he left her apartment. After he left, a neighbor called 911. (The neighbor said she heard Crowley screaming. She also says that Crowley didn’t want the police involved.) However, there are conflicts between her statement and what she told the police who interviewed her after responding to the 911 call. This is not surprising since the police said her allegations were “vague.”
This incident was investigated by the Dallas Police Department and the case was closed without any charges being filed. It was opened because Crowley went to the Dallas County DA’s office and filed a charge of domestic violence, which led to a reopening of the case.
The Fort Worth PD officers who answered the 911 call determined that there had been no assault within their jurisdiction. However, they weren’t aware that Crowley attacked Manziel with a knife.


Dishonest Media and Johnny Manziel

A couple of weeks ago I was on a cruise ship. One of the entertainers was a comedian from Kansas City. I saw him perform three times and in at least two of his performances, two of which were more like seminars, he commented that the media lies to us. Now, I don’t know if their lies are always deliberate but there is one thing for certain – very little you see and hear in the media is true. In fact, barley 48 hours after we returned home an incident occurred near my house that shows just how true his statement is.

On Monday morning after we got home on Saturday, a light sport airplane crashed at an airport less than two miles from our house. A flight instructor was killed and his student badly burned. The first reports were that the airplane was in maintenance when it suddenly burst into flames. Then the account changed to a crash for awhile before going back to the mechanic story. I finally drove over to the airport to see what I could learn, which turned out to be nothing. I found several vehicles from news outlets with the reporters and camera crews sitting inside  waiting for somebody to tell them something (one blonde TV reporter apparently spent the entire day out there waiting to report on the noon and 6 o’clock news.)

Yet, NONE of them got the story straight! The airplane was taking off with a strong, gusty crosswind. Yet the story reported by most of the news outlets is that the airplane “suddenly lost altitude” and some said it hit another airplane while taking off, even though the closest airplanes were at least 100 yards away. No mention of the strong, gusty winds was mentioned even though such winds frequently cause accidents, particularly with light airplanes. Not a single one of the news outlets bothered to do any research. This brings me to Johnny Manziel.

I won’t go into Manziel’s history other than to say that he is probably the most-reported individual in history; in sports for sure. Most of it is rumor and/or exaggeration. Ever since 2012 when he came out as one of the most outstanding football players of all time, sports media has followed him like a hawk and bloggers have used him to draw attention to their pages. When I finally got around to going online a week ago today, I learned that there had been an incident earlier that morning between him and his former girlfriend. A statement was released by the Fort Worth PD about an investigation of an incident involving a 23-year old woman and her  ex-boyfriend. Although the statement did not mention Manziel by name, the police sergeant who tweeted it mentioned that it involved Manziel. The Johnny Manziel circus was about to turn into Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey.

The details of the allegations claimed by the girl friend, one Colleen Cowley, are here: The Fort Worth PD informational report is here:

Crowley’s statement says that she and three friends went from Fort Worth to Dallas to have dinner at a posh restaurant where they remained until after eleven, then went club hopping. She mentions three clubs in her statement but her car ended up at a fourth. Manziel, with whom Crowley says she had broken up in December, was not with them. However, Crowley says they were texting back and forth. She says they made plans for an “after party” at his hotel. She and two of her friends eventually went to Manziel’s room at what appears to have been somewhere around 1 AM or possibly later. The two friends left to “do their own thing” and she remained at the hotel, although whether they were alone or not is not stated. She said that she had made plans to spend the night in the hotel with Manziel.

After the friends left, the two former lovers got into an argument about another girl that “had caused problems for us in the past.” She apparently got mad and told him that if she was going to stay, she was going to sleep on the couch. She claims that Manziel then threw her on the bed but states that he claimed it was “playfully” but she “took it seriously” and decided to leave, but when she went to the door Manziel “restrained her.” She would later tell police that Manziel didn’t want her to drive because she was intoxicated. (She undoubtedly was since she had been to a restaurant and at least three clubs before she went to his room and is known to imbibe.)

What happened after that is uncertain. Crowley has made numerous allegations of assault and abuse on Manziel’s part but also stated in her affidavit that she went at him with a kitchen knife, at  which point he fled her apartment in Fort Worth. It was after he left that she went to neighbors and got them to make a 911 call. The Fort Worth PD concluded that no assault had occurred within their jurisdiction (the knife attack is not mentioned in their informational report) and forwarded it to the Dallas PD to investigate. The DPD conducted an investigation and declared it closed with no charges filed. The following day word came out that Crowley had requested a protective order.

The protective order has been misreported. A DFW news outlet reported that the judge had granted the request for a protective order for two years. However, Texas judges do not have that authority without a hearing. Prescribed procedures in Texas are for a hearing to be set for a date within 14 days of the request.  A judge may decide to issue a temporary order but it is valid for only 20 days, at which time it may be lifted or, once a hearing has been held, replaced by a permanent order valid for not more than two years. A DFW area TV station reported that Manziel had been ordered to stay away from Crowley for two years, but this would be contrary to Texas law since no hearing has taken place.

Crowley has also gone to the Dallas County DA’s office and pressed charges. As a result, the DPD reopened their investigation. The media, however, has been reporting this as if a new “criminal” investigation has been opened. In fact, all police investigations are “criminal.” The ongoing investigation has simply been reopened.

Whether the DPD investigation will uncover anything new is anyone’s guess, but it’s doubtful. With one exception, Crowley’s allegations all took place either in his room or in her car while he was driving her to Fort Worth. The one possible exception is in a parking lot. She mentions an encounter with a valet but doesn’t relate any abuse that might have occurred that would have witnessed. (There is also a question – how long was the couple in the valet’s presence? Unless Manziel called to ask to have his car brought up, the valet would have had to go get it while they were waiting.) She incriminates herself in her statement but the assault with the kitchen knife took place in Forth Worth. Whether she will be charged remains to be seen and may depend on Manziel’s actions. (He should press charges against her since she threatened him with a deadly weapon, an assault at minimum.)

Reporting of the Manziel/Crowley incident basically has him tried and convicted and on his way to jail, or on his way out of the NFL at least. In fact, all the police have are allegations by Crowley, allegations that have yet to be proved. Charges are based on evidence, not suspicion – except in the media and the court of public opinion the media seeks to influence.




Johnny Manziel – It’s All Crap

Let me start this off by stating (not admitting, stating) that I have no interest in spectator sports, particularly the NFL. I could care less who wins the playoffs and goes  to the Super Bowl and who wins it. None of it is going to make a fraction of a penny’s difference in the overall scheme of things. Everyone on the two teams gets a ring and the winner’s fans gets to brag about how their team won – until next year when that team goes on the skids.

Now, I had never heard of Johnny Manziel until a front page article came out about him in Texas Monthly. The article told how he had taken his Kerrville team from nothing to a championship team, then how he had gone to Texas A&M (after turning down an offer to a school in Oregon) and after being redshirted (whatever that means) won the Heisman Trophy the first year he played and was given the name Johnny Football. That fall I watched A&M games and was entertained by the young quarterback’s efforts on the football field. Personally, I wish he had stayed at A&M to graduate but he chose to declare for the NFL draft, which was his choice. Now, he should have been drafted by the Houston Texans, who have had quarterback problems for almost the past decade. Instead, they took a lineman named Jadevon Clowney, apparently because he played for Texan owner Bob McNair’s alma mater, the University of South Carolina, in spite of his dismal record the previous year. (Sports writer – who know very little – were pushing him to be the number one pick. He was, and he’s bombed in Houston.)

Manziel was picked by the Cleveland Browns but instead of playing him, they put local boy Brian Hoyer in the starter position and it wasn’t until Hoyer went bust that they finally played Manziel. Granted, he didn’t do well but it was the Browns defense who allowed the Cleveland Bengals to run away with them. Manziel was injured in his next game and sat out the rest of the season. Immediately after the season, Manziel checked himself into a treatment facility but no reason has ever been given for the decision he made himself. Bloggers and Manziel haters, of which there are many, concluded (without basis) that it  was for drug and alcohol abuse when it could have been for anything, including depression caused from being stuck in Cleveland. Thee 2015 season was a repeat as the Browns brought in Josh McCown, who had done okay with the Chicago Bears then bombed in Florida. But then McCown got hurt in their first game and Manziel started against the Tennessee Titans – and promptly whomped them while showing that he is a much better quarterback than the highly touted Marcus Mariota. As the season progressed, the Browns won three games –  two under Manziel – and lost 13, most of which were when other QBs were on the field. The Browns kept the Kansas City Chiefs to 17 points and scored 13 themselves while playing in Winter Storm Goliath.

Yet in spite of Manziel’s actions on the field, an army of “bloggers” went after him for “his conduct off the field.” TMZ, an internet celebrity gossip site, posted a short clip taken with a cell phone showing Manziel walking through a bar in Austin carrying what may have been a bottle of champagne and mouthing the words to a rap song. Now, it was a very short clip but Manziel haters immediately concluded that he was “inebriated”. Now, the clip was allegedly taken during a Browns bye week right after Manziel was named starting quarterback. Because gossip spreads quickly, the clip was shown all over “social media” by “ain’t it awful” bloggers and Twitterers. The Browns coach, who is no longer the Browns coach, overreacted and allegedly benched Manziel for the next game – which the Browns lost by a considerable margin. Manziel played the next game and ran all over Oakland. The next game was against the Chiefs, and although the odds were 83% in favor of the Chiefs, the Browns played a great game in high winds and possibly would have won if they hadn’t taken too long lining up for the last play and the clock ran out.

During those two weeks after Manziel returned the game, there was very little anti-Manziel on social media, but then another short video was posted showing him at a party on Christmas Eve in a private residence and all the ain’t-it-awful crap started again. This time the Browns paid little attention. They had one game left in the season and Browns management had other things to worry about, namely their jobs (which they lost.) A few days later,  Manziel went to the Browns’ medical department complaining of a headache and was determined to have a concussion, a concussion suffered during the game with the Chiefs, which he finished and did a marvelous job.

Now, concussions have become a big deal in the NFL, which had established a protocol teams are supposed to follow. Now, this is not a treatment protocol, but a series of actions the team is required to take before the player is allowed to return to the practice field and, ultimately, to the game. Depending on the seriousness of the concussion, the protocol varies from a day or so to weeks. Manziel was at the medical facility on Saturday morning before the Browns’ final game. The media claims it was for “a treatment” but there’s no treatment for concussions other than initial rest than avoiding situations when another concussion might occur and taking pain killers for any headaches. The NFL protocol calls for limited gradually increasing activity until the player is pronounced fit.

On Saturday evening before the Browns’ final game, rumors started that Manziel had been seen in Las Vegas. Manziel himself posted a picture of himself with his dog showing that he was in Ohio. On Sunday USA Today’s web site posted an article claiming that he was in Vegas and referred to claims by a waitress and someone who claimed to have talked to him. The Browns have basically ignored it, although the owner said on Sunday evening (after the Browns lost to the Steelers) that Manziel “did not show up for treatment” Sunday morning. Since then, a story has been circulating that Manziel wore “a blonde wig and a mustache and used the name Billy.” Now, this story contradicts the original story which claimed that he was at Planet Hollywood with his girlfriend and using his real name. Either one is true and (more likely) the other isn’t or neither is true. One celebrity site posted a photograph that shows someone resembling Manziel at a table accompanied by four guys – no girlfriend, no blonde wig, no mustache.

Now, it really doesn’t matter whether Manziel was in Vegas on Saturday night or not. He had been restricted from playing in the Browns’ final game and was forbidden from even being present on the sidelines. There was no requirement for him to be at the game. In fact, players with concussions aren’t supposed to be in any kind of situation where they are exposed to excitement. Sunday was the last day of the Browns’ season and he would not be returning to the practice field, much less playing. A week had passed since he suffered the concussion. No one knows what the doctor told him on Saturday. All that’s known is that he didn’t appear at the medical facility on Sunday morning,  according to Haslam. There are also reports that he wasn’t answering his phone and that “the Browns couldn’t find him.” Now, the question is, why would they have even been looking?

Manziel’s problem is not alcohol, it’s undue social media attention by bloggers who hate him and who jump on any opportunity to place blame on him, even though there’s nothing to blame him for. Social media is used by sports bloggers for their web sites – the “accounts” are all the same and never really say anything and then they are repeated on legitimate outlets. In fact, much of what passes for “news” in today’s world is actually rumor gleaned from Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. In nearly every case, the claims are exaggerated. They often refer to Manziel’s “brushes with the law” when in fact he’s only been arrested once in his life, and that was after he got into an altercation in College Station after someone called his buddy by a racial slur and he was found to have a fake ID. During the off-season before his final year, the attention was focused on Tweets he had made, including one in which he expressed how glad he would be to leave College Station after his car was towed. This was during the period when there were allegations that he had been paid to autograph football paraphernalia, allegations that were never proven and for which he was suspended for the first half of A&M’s opening game against the University of Houston. That, by the way, was the first college football game I ever watched. Within five minutes after Manziel got in the game, he scored. By the way, the U of H is one of the best college teams in the nation.

Because of who he is, Manziel draws attention from two kinds of people, those who hate him  because of jealousy and those who hate him because of their own self-righteousness. So what that he likes to party? There have been all kinds of claims that he’s addicted to alcohol or drugs – or both – but the only proof ever offered are photographs and short video clips of him either in bars or at parties. Although hundreds of bloggers claim that he was treated for alcohol and drugs, there is no proof that he was. No one even knows for certain where he was treated, much less what for. His family gave a clue in 2013 when his father commented that he has anger issues, which is not uncommon with competitors. There’s no doubt that he was angry with the Browns offensive line because they let the clock run out on the Chief’s game. When the whistle blew, he threw his helmet on the ground and stormed off.

What I hate is that the “allegations” against Manziel are all based on rumor and unqualified photographs and short video clips. If he’s photographed in a bar or at a party, he’s automatically “inebriated.” A lot of people seem to believe that the Browns have prohibited him from alcohol. (There have been claims that the Browns told him to breakup with his girlfriend after an incident in October when she threw his wallet out the window of his automobile. Really? Since when has any employer been able to dictate who a person is romantically involved with? His girlfriend is actually a college student from Houston. Social media has labeled her a “party girl.”)  Somebody found a post by one of her friends on Instagram (or somewhere) saying “Headed to Vegas” and used it to “substantiate” the claim that Manziel was in Vegas Saturday night.

Not only are bloggers speculating about where Manziel was on Saturday night, they’re claiming that the Browns are “through” with him and are going to dump him. However, right now the Browns doesn’t even have a management team. They have a general manager but he’s new to the job and is a lawyer, not from the NFL. Browns owner Jimmy Haslam told the media that it would be up to the new coach and general manager as to the makeup of the team. He did comment that he has input and also commented that the Browns will have second pick in the draft in May, which bloggers took to mean that he is planning to dump Manziel. If so, the question is why? It is because of rumors, innuendo, short video clips and photographs posted by wannabes? It’s certainly not because of how he plays. Personally, I hope Manziel does leave and comes back to Texas. The Cowboys seem to be looking at him. The Texans ought to be. In fact, they should have drafted him instead of Jadevon Clowney, who has been the bust that Manziel haters falsely claim he is. It’s like those who weren’t there calling Douglas MacArthur “Dugout Doug.” Neither label is deserved.