By Charlie Deitch
Pittsburgh Current Editor
A Cleveland Police spokesperson says that the hit that Browns defensive end Myles Garrett laid on Steelers QB Mason Rudolph will not trigger an automatic police investigation. Garrett ripped Rudolph’s helmet off the signal-caller’s head and bashed him in the head with it.
Cleveland Police Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia said that in order for there to be an investigation in this instance, Rudolph would have to return to Cleveland and file formal charges with the police. Ciaccia says an investigation would then take place and the prosecuting attorney’s office would decide what, if any, charges would be filed.
On Friday morning, Rudolph’s agent Timothy Younger told the Post-Gazette’s Ray Fittipaldo: “that he is still gathering information on Thursday night’s incident before any decisions regarding legal or civil action on Rudolph’s behalf are made,” Fittipaldo wrote. On Thursday night Younger tweeted:
There are many risks an NFL QB assumes with every snap taken on the field. Being hit on your uncovered head by a helmet being swung by a 275 lb DE is not one of them. Tonight could have had a catastrophic ending. The matter will be reviewed thoroughly.
— Younger & Associates/QB Limited (@YoungerAssoc) November 15, 2019
Many observers have assumed that since the hit was witnessed by a national audience as well as in front of police officers, that an investigation could be triggered automatically. However, Ciaccia says, in this case and most other similar assaults, a victim would have to initiate the process. “We would need a criminal complaint to start an investigation and at this time, we don’t have one,” she says. “I think a lot of people assume that just because we were there that an investigation would be automatic, but that’s not the case.”
In the aftermath of the incident, the NFL issued Garrett an indefinite suspension that will be at least for the remainder of this season. Steelers Maurkice Pouncey has been suspended three games and each franchise was fined $250,000.