QB Johnny Manziel has come off as a model citizen since exiting his rehab stint this offseason, but you just knew that any off-the-field incident involving him would be fleshed out to the "nth" power by the media. That incident came on Monday, when Manziel and his girlfriend were pulled over after several witnesses called the Avon police due to an argument they saw between the two.
Here are a few notes on the situation:
- Manziel and his girlfriend, Colleen Crowley, admitted to arguing, and Manziel told police that he had been drinking earlier in the day. The police officer believed that Manziel was not intoxicated, so he was not charged. The police believed that Crowley was intoxicated and offered to give her a ride, but she declined and left with Manziel. The two have been living together for two months, and Crowley will be returning for her senior year at TCU soon.
Manziel's Story: Per the police report, Manziel and his girlfriend were driving from downtown Cleveland to Avon, and Crowley got angry after Manziel wanted to pick up a friend. Crowley then complained about Manziel driving bad, and then grabbed his wallet and threw it out the window. Manziel stopped the car to look for his wallet, and Crowley tried to leave the vehicle. Manziel grabbed Crowley's wrist to prevent her from leaving the vehicle, but Manziel denied every striking or punching her.
Crowley's Story: Crowley told police that she threw Manziel's wallet out of the window because he would not return her cell phone. Manziel says that he was using her phone to control the music in the vehicle. Crowley then told police that during the drive, Manziel pushed her head against the glass of the car, but that she was not fearful of him during the encounter. She did not want to press charges.
- Eyewitness' Story: One driver told police that they thought Manziel was driving about 90 miles per hour. As Manziel approached an exit ramp in Avon, the driver said they saw Crowley trying to leave the vehicle, with Manziel holding her back by having his arm and elbow around her neck.
After the incident, both Manziel and his girlfriend took to social media to say the incident was much to do about nothing:
Johnny Manziel's girlfriend posted an Instagram response to the incident pic.twitter.com/urOCmYjI7r— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 16, 2015
Colleen and I got into a dumb public argument on the way home Monday afternoon. It probably looked more interesting than it was and...— Johnny Manziel (@JManziel2) October 16, 2015
I know I would stop and check if I saw a couple arguing on the side of the road. It was embarrassing but not serious...— Johnny Manziel (@JManziel2) October 16, 2015
and when we talked to the police and they realized everything was alright and I was sober, we went home together and everything is fine.— Johnny Manziel (@JManziel2) October 16, 2015
The instant reaction by many in the media was to pile the criticism on Manziel, such as Jarrett Bell of the USA Today, when he wrote a "he's guilty" piece, accusing the police of showing favoritism toward a celebrity athlete. The question is, does Manziel deserve the criticism he's receiving? Should he not be consuming any alcohol, even though we don't know exactly what he went into rehab for this offseason?
Let us know what your thoughts are on the situation.