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NFL star was facing menacing charge — until prosecutor changed her mind: 'We need additional investigation'

Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

A star NFL player was recently facing a charge in connection to a firearm accusation — until he wasn't.

On Thursday, a prosecutor in Hamilton County, Ohio, filed an arrest warrant for Joe Mixon, the 26-year-old star running back for the Cincinnati Bengals. According to reports, Mixon was being charged with aggravated menacing, a first-degree misdemeanor.

Police initially claimed that on January 21, Mixon and a woman were in downtown Cincinnati when he suddenly drew a gun and pointed it in the woman's face. While he threatened her with the weapon, Mixon had also told her, "You should be popped in the face. I should shoot you, the police [can't] get me," the affidavit stated.

The following day, January 22, the Bengals went on to lose the AFC Championship Game 23-20 to the Kansas City Chiefs. In that game, Mixon racked up just 19 yards on eight carries and another 15 yards on three receptions.

The Bengals organization issued a statement on Thursday, confirming the news of the pending charge against Mixon: "The club is aware misdemeanor charges have been raised against Joe Mixon. The club is investigating the situation and will not comment further at this time."

However, in the hours following the filing of the arrest warrant, prosecutors in the case apparently changed their minds. On Friday, an unnamed prosecutor read a prepared statement to Hamilton County Municipal Court Presiding Judge Curt Kissinger, saying, "We are requesting dismissal because we need additional investigation before we move forward with this case."

The statement added that prosecutors had made the decision to drop the charge only after police first spoke with the alleged victim. "She understands the need to dismiss this case and the potential that we could refile this at a later date," the statement continued. "She does still want to go forward with this charge if we do decide to refile it."

Kissinger accepted the request, and the charge against Mixon was officially dismissed. However, Mixon's agent, Peter Schaffer, intimated that the damage had already been done. "[P]olice have an obligation before they file charges ... to do their work," Schaffer said in a statement, "because of the damage that can be done to the person's reputation."

"[Police] should be held to a higher standard," Schaffer added. "Because I don't play with people's lives."

Though Mixon is, indeed, innocent until proven guilty, he does have a troubling history of violence against women. In 2014, soon after he arrived as a freshman on the campus of the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Mixon punched a woman in the face after she allegedly hurled a racial slur. The woman suffered several facial fractures as a result.

Mixon pled guilty to misdemeanor assault in connection to the incident and served one year of probation, performed 100 hours of community service, and attended counseling. The incident caused Mixon's NFL draft stock to fall, and he was not selected until the Bengals picked him up late in the second round of the 2017 draft.

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