Crystal Espinal, the fiancee of Kansas City Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill, has been listed as “involved” in a battery incident that occurred at the couple’s home on March 14.
The Kansas City Star was the first to report that they had obtained a police report that mentioned Hill as a suspect. In addition, Espinal is listed under “others involved” in the case. The Star report goes on to say that Hill is accused of breaking the arm of the couple’s three-year-old son. The charges were filed by the Overland Police Department.
“The club is aware of the investigation involving Tyreek Hill,” the Chiefs said in a statement. “We’re in the process of gathering information and have been in contact with the league and local authorities. We’ll have no further comment at this time.”
UPDATE (4/24/19): Kansas City Chiefs beat writer Brooke Pryor reports: “Johnson County DA Stephen Howe announces they will decline to file charges in the investigation involving Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill and his fiancee Crystal Espinal.”
UPDATE (4/25/19): A conversation between Hill and Espinal was recorded and included in a report by KCTV. In the audio clip, he said (among other things), “You need to be terrified of me, too, bitch.”
Here’s the audio.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. This Isn’t the First Time Hill and Espinal Have Been Involved in a Domestic Incident
Hill and Espinal have been together since at least before 2014. Our own Effie Orfanides reported that in 2015 — when Espinal was pregnant with Zev — “she and Hill got into a huge fight and he ended up getting charged with domestic battery”.
The Star reported back in September 2018 about the altercation.
“Hill, then a running back at Oklahoma State, … pleaded guilty to domestic battery of Crystal Espinal in a Stillwater, Okla., apartment in December 2014. He was given a three-year deferred sentence with probation and required to complete an anger management course along with a 52-week batterer’s intervention program.
Dismissed from the Oklahoma State football program, he finished his collegiate career at Division-II West Alabama before being selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Because Hill successfully completed his probation last month, the domestic abuse charges were dismissed and his record was expunged.”
The Tulsa World expanded on that report, providing detailed testimony from Espinal.
Hill “threw my laptop (and) my phone into the hallway” before ordering her to leave his apartment, Espinal testified. She said she was in the hallway outside of Hill’s room, but did not leave because she wearing only a T-shirt and underwear. After she reentered the apartment, “domestic violence occurred,” she said.
In response to questions from Payne County Assistant District Attorney Lynn Hermanson, Espinal said that Hill “punched my face. … When I tried to get up, I was put into a chokehold (for) longer than a minute.”
2. Espinal and Hill Got Engaged Last Fall, and Things Seemed to be Improving
About three weeks after Espinal and Zev moved to Kansas City prior to last season, Hill proposed.
“It feels good,” Hill said to the Star in late September last year. “Everything feels good. Everything is in order. I’m playing well, my family is great, my family is amazing. I have a great support system. Everything is going well for me.”
The Star also reported that the family had been spending quality time together since getting reunited under the same household.
“It’s fun,” he said. “I get to go home each and every day and just spend that time with my son. Whether it’s outside throwing the football or whether it’s inside playing Fortnite.
“I enjoy going home each and every day because every day is a challenge for me. Stepping up another notch. I’m trying to be a great father. Not only a great football player but a tremendous father to my son because I want him to grow up and be better than I was.”
Espinal showed off her engagement ring on Instagram back in December, captioning the video, “I said yes!” Hill’s Instagram page has several personal posts with his whole family, while Espinal mostly posts pictures of just her and Zev.
3. Both Have Been Involved in Local Community Service
Hill, Espinal and Zev all appeared at his charity event at the Hope WRX Food Pantry the week after a Sep. 23 win over San Francisco.
As Pryor reported on Sep. 28, Hill and Espinal helped bag groceries for 125 Kansas City families.
“It means a lot,” Hill said. “I get a chance to spend time with my son every day now. It means a lot to have my son, my fiancee just to have my back, supporting me in what I do.”
Hill earned the NFL Players Association’s Community MVP weekly award at the time. Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce won the honors the week before.
“It means a lot, man,” Hill said. “It shows what God can do. He can take a young man and He can transform him. He can transform him into a positive role model, a positive influence on the community.
“I’m just blessed to be in the position that I’m in. Chiefs obviously gave me an opportunity, so I’m going to use my platform each and every day to change lives.”
4. She Publicly Addressed Her Domestic Abuse Back in 2017 on Facebook
She posted the following on Facebook in 2017, 3 years after her initial domestic battery incident with Hill.
Almost 3 years ago on December 12th, my life actually flashed before my eyes. Unfortunately there are several women and men that have experienced this same situation from some form of domestic violence whether that be physical sexual or mental abuse. Domestic violence is a huge problem across America and there are not enough advocates for the victims.
October is domestic violence awareness month, however light needs to be shined down on this issue throughout the year!
To the victims: I hear you, I understand you, I feel you. I know telling anyone your story is so hard because just like me, you want to forget every little detail about it. But our stories need to be heard, people need to understand and realize domestic violence occurs far too often.
If your currently being hurt and abused do not hold back- stand up and take back your life, you have the power to do it! I believe in you!
She also posted the domestic violence hotline (1-800-799-7233).
5. She Attended Oklahoma State With Hill
She attended Tahlequah High School in Oklahoma and later enrolled at Oklahoma State University.
According to Dreshare, she did graduate.