Johnny Manziel’s legal fate may rest on the details of surveillance video footage the Dallas police department has obtained from the Hotel ZaZa. According to ESPN, Dallas police held a press conference Saturday stating that they had obtained the footage in regard to an assault investigation involving Manziel and his ex-girlfriend. Police did not elaborate on the details of the video, but stated that the case against Johnny was still under investigation.
According to the NFL, Christine Crowley, Manziel’s ex, stated that Johnny struck her several times in the hotel, and again after taking her to her apartment. Crowley was awarded an order of protection against Manziel in early February, and Johnny was ordered to pay her legal fees. On top of being investigated for the incident by the police, Manziel is also being investigated by the NFL to see if Johnny broke any player conduct rules. This is the latest in a string of personal and legal issues hinging on Manziel’s erratic and questionable behavior.
Johnny Manziel was drafted in 2014 by the Cleveland Browns. A stand out quarterback who received the Heisman trophy as a freshman at Texas A&M, Manziel was anticipated to be the franchise quarterback that would help the Browns succeed in making a Super Bowl run. Instead, Cleveland’s dream quickly turned into a nightmare as Manziel began to spiral out of control in his personal life and play without consistency on the field. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise to the Browns given Manziel’s sordid past during college.
In 2012, Johnny was charged with disorderly conduct, failure to identify, and providing false identification after getting into a fight. Manziel copped a plea, only admitting guilt to the failure to identify. In 2013, though Manziel faced no legal issues, Johnny was criticized for his off the field behavior including being thrown out of a fraternity party at the University of Texas and possible NCAA violations of collecting money for autographs. The NCAA was unable to verify Manziel had done so.
Following his draft by the Browns, in 2014, Manziel managed to get several members of his team in trouble with the organization after throwing a raucous party during the season. According to ESPN, many questioned whether or not Johnny had the maturity to take his quarterback role seriously. Manziel was also involved in a fight at a local Cleveland hotel. Though Johnny was never charged in the incident, the Browns management expressed concern for Manziel’s behavior.
In February of 2015, Manziel reported to rehab for alcohol addiction treatment. The Browns management reveled that Johnny Football may finally be getting his act together, however, Manziel’s problems were far from over. As the 2015 season began, Johnny was pulled over by police while fighting with his girlfriend. According to CBS Sports, Manziel admitted to drinking alcohol. The following month, video surfaced of Johnny drinking champagne during the Browns’ bye week. Due to his continued partying, the Browns will reportedly cut ties with Manziel on March 1, the first day they are eligible to do so.
As if being cut by his team isn’t enough, Manziel also managed to be dropped by his agent, a rare occasion in the arena of professional sports. Shortly after the allegations of the Dallas domestic violence incident arose, Johnny’s agent Erik Burkhardt stated that he could no longer represent Manziel who he felt lacked “accountability” for his actions.
“Though I will remain a friend and Johnny supporter, and he knows I have worked tirelessly to arrange a number of professional options for him to continue to pursue, it has become painfully obvious that his future rests solely in his own hands,” Burkhardt stated of Manziel in a press release according to ESPN.
While Burkhardt may be right to some degree, if the surveillance video obtained by Dallas police shows any chargeable offense by Manziel, Johnny’s future may also rest in the hands of the Dallas legal system.
[Johnny Manziel cover image via Andrew Weber/Getty Images]