Former NFL Player Chad Johnson Charged
By Michael Martinez
(CNN) — Former Miami Dolphins player Chad Johnson is charged with misdemeanor domestic battery in last month’s alleged head-butting of his new wife, prosecutors in Florida said Wednesday.
Johnson is to be arraigned Thursday on a first-degree misdemeanor charge, which carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail, according to the Broward State Attorney’s Office.
A day after the alleged incident August 11 at his home in Davie, where he lived with his wife, Evelyn Lozada, the Miami Dolphins released the longtime NFL wide receiver. He played a preseason game the day before the incident, but had not participated in a regular season game with the team. No reason was given for his release.
Johnson and Lozada, a cast member on the VH1 reality TV show “Basketball Wives,” married on July 4. Their time together was to be featured in a new series on that network.
That reality show, “Ev and Ocho,” was canceled shortly after the alleged head-butting, VH1 said on its website.
According to the arrest report that the Davie Police Department released last month, Lozada returned to the couple’s home from grocery shopping shortly after 7 p.m. August 11 and noticed a receipt with a charge for a box of condoms.
The couple then began talking about the sales receipt and their marriage, according to the arrest report.
“As they were talking, Johnson became upset and without (his wife’s) permission, grabbed her and butted her on the forehead, causing a laceration,” the police report said, giving her account.
After trying to calm down a screaming Johnson, his wife said she ran “to a neighbor’s house to get away from” him.
A Davie police officer soon responded and found Johnson’s wife with an approximately 3-inch cut in the middle of her forehead.
Officer Christopher Epps then questioned the football player, the arrest report said. Johnson confirmed there had been an argument, saying his wife had been yelling and that “she then head-butted Johnson.”
Johnson did not have “visible marks or bruises,” the arrest report said.
His wife indicated she wanted to press charges, signing an affidavit of complaint, according to police. She was taken to Westside Regional Medical Center in Plantation, Florida, to be treated.
The football player was known as Chad Ochocinco — a Spanish-language take on his jersey number, 85 — before his marriage last month.
The prolific tweeter, with four posts on August 11 alone, though none about the incident, is known as much for his vibrant personality as his play on the field.
He starred in VH1’s “The Ultimate Catch,” a 2010 reality dating show in which he considered potential female mates in a tournament-style format.
Johnson spent his first 10 seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, earning six Pro Bowl selections. The southern Florida native spent last season with the New England Patriots, then signed in the off-season with the Dolphins.
CNN’s Jane Caffrey, Douglas Hyde and Maria P. White contributed to this report.