Chicago Bears defensive lineman Mario Edwards Jr. has been charged with assault pertaining to a domestic violence incident that reportedly occurred on October 17, 2020, per TMZ Sports. According to TMZ, the alleged incident happened in North Carolina when the Bears were in town to play the Panthers.
Per TMZ: “The woman claims Edwards got violent with her in a North Carolina hotel room on October 17, 2020 … She says Edwards got aggressive when she turned down his sexual advances that night. The woman claims she took out her phone to record Edwards yelling at her — and he reacted by smacking her in the eye with his hand. Then, she claims, Edwards grabbed her by the arm and ‘dragged her to the door of the hotel room.’ The woman claims Edwards continued his attack down the hotel hall by an elevator where he struck her in her arm … The woman claims she was hospitalized for injuries sustained during the alleged attack. She also says she was pregnant at the time of the incident.”
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Mario Edwards Jr. Has Denied the Allegations
Edwards has denied the woman’s allegations, per TMZ, and he also has said he is the victim in this particular instance, claiming the woman accusing him of assault was the aggressor. Edwards’ agent Peter Schaffer released the following statement to TMZ: “Mario Edwards doesn’t condone domestic violence. At no time did Mario Edwards do anything that raised to the level of domestic violence, or any violence.”
Shaffer says Edwards acknowledges getting into an argument with the woman, but “When she started to scream and yell, Mario did what he’s been told. Walk away and de-escalate the situation.” Edwards’ complaints about the alleged victim getting physically aggressive with him were also mentioned on the police report. “In the narrative section, cops say they were called in reference to a woman hitting a man and scratching his forehead,” TMZ reported. Based on the police report, the police were called to investigate a female hitting a male, but since Edwards is also facing charges, there may be evidence he struck her, as well.
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Edwards Signed 1-Year, $1.6 Million Deal With Bears This Offseason
Edwards, in his sixth year in the league, signed a one-year, $1.6 million contract with Chicago this offseason, and he has been arguably one of the most pleasant surprises on defense in 2020, registering four sacks and six tackles for loss while playing in a limited role.
The alleged victim told authorities that this has happened before, and that Edwards has a history of violent behavior toward her and other women. The case is expected to go to court, although it’s unclear as of now when that will be. The Mecklenburg County District Attorney told TMZ that “Edwards has a criminal summons for a misdemeanor assault on a female,” but that’s all we know at this point.
Neither the league nor Bears head coach Matt Nagy have commented publicly on the allegations.