Aaron Kromer, an assistant coach for the Buffalo Bills, was arrested on Sunday following a bizarre dispute with minors over beach chairs. The incident occurred outside the 48-year-old’s home at Inlet Beach in Walton County, Florida.
Allegedly, Aaron and his son discovered a group of minors had taken his lawn chairs to use while fishing. The victims told Walton County officials that Aaron threw one boy’s fishing pole into the water. During the confrontation, Kromer is also said to have pushed down a second boy and punched him in the face. Topping it all off, Kromer is alleged to have threatened to kill the boy’s family if he reported the assault.
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) July 12, 2015
Fox Sports has shared the other side of the story offered by someone close to Kromer. Fox Sports‘s Alex Marvez was told by an anonymous source that the Bills coach responded to the theft of his beach chairs but didn’t set out to hurt anyone. Instead, it was Aaron Kromer who found himself abused and threatened by a group of strangers.
“It was dark out. He couldn’t see the people. The kids were belligerent and threatened him. Bottom line, they stole his property, and he couldn’t identify them because it was dark out and they threatened him.”
This version of events attempts to put Aaron in a much more sympathetic light: Kromer was the threatened party, not the boy he allegedly struck. Although it’s known that he engaged a group of minors, the names and ages of the boys weren’t released. As such, the full validity of this explanation has yet to be tested.
Bills OL coach Aaron Kromer was arrested in Walton County, FL this morning on a battery charge per public jail record pic.twitter.com/femyYaJgnk
— Mike Rodak (@mikerodak) July 12, 2015
Kromer was taken into police custody at around 1:30 a.m. and released nearly two hours later. As of now, Aaron is charged with “battery that caused bodily harm”. Law enforcement officials said that the investigation is ongoing and that “additional charges are possible”.
Aaron Kromer, who was let go from the Chicago Bears following a 5-11 season, could find himself facing additional punishment by the NFL and/or Buffalo Bills over the incident. The NFL updated its personal conduct policy in December. The move was largely in response to strong criticism of the organizations’ lax response to off-field misconduct.
The Buffalo Bills acknowledged in a statement that the team is “aware of the report” and is presently “in the process of gathering facts.”
— ESPN (@espn) July 12, 2015
Do you believe Aaron Kromer acted in self-defense and had no idea he was dealing with minors…or did Kromer needlessly freak out over beach chairs? Share your thoughts below!
[Image via Harry How/Getty Images]