Dallas Cowboys star running back Ezekiel Elliott was suspended six games as a result of domestic violence allegations, according to an ESPN report Friday.
A woman, who said she had a dating relationship with Elliott, reported multiple domestic violence incidents to authorities last year, including one in Columbus, Ohio, in July 2016 that led to a police investigation.
The investigation began when Columbus police responded to an apartment complex after the woman, who told police that she was Elliott's former live-in girlfriend, reported an assault in a 911 call. She claimed Elliott assaulted her while the two were in a parked car and alleged he also had become violent toward her in the days prior.
USA TODAY Sports does not identify alleged victims of domestic violence.
"(The alleged victim) stated that she had pain in her right wrist and a red mark, but declined medical treatment,” an officer wrote in the report.
The Columbus City Attorney’s Office chose not to file criminal charges, citing conflicting and inconsistent information. In a statement, Elliott denied the woman's accusations.
USA TODAY Sports also reported police in Florida were called after the same woman reported Elliott pushed her up against a wall in February 2016. The incident took place in Aventura, Fla., as Elliott prepared for the NFL draft.
The alleged victim told the responding officers that she was left with shoulder pain, although she declined to go to the hospital. Elliott wasn’t arrested and the case was not forwarded to prosecutors for review.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones had expressed frustration that the league's investigation, which began before Elliott played of his stellar rookie season, dragged on so long and expressed belief his young star would not be penalized.
The lengthy investigation came after the perceived mishandling of other players linked to domestic violence, including former New York Giants kicker Josh Brown and former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, who received short suspensions before new information become public.
The NFL has a lower burden of proof, so players can be found in violation of its personal conduct policy even without an arrest or conviction. Players are subject to minimum six-game suspension for domestic violence, although that can be cut down or increased based upon the circumstances.
Beyond the alleged domestic violence allegations, Elliott also was linked to an assault at a Dallas bar July 16 that left one man with a broken nose. Police announced days later that they had suspended their investigation after detectives were unable to locate the man who was assaulted.
The league also reviewed videos and photos of Elliott pulling down a woman’s shirt, which exposed her breast, during a St. Patrick’s Day parade rooftop party in March.
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