Buffalo Bills Offensive Coach Aaron Kromer spent part of a recent weekend in a Walton County, Florida jail, thanks to charges that he punched a teenaged boy.
Kromer was arrested early in the morning of Sunday, July 12th on a misdemeanor battery charge stemming from an altercation he had with three teenage boys who had been fishing on a nearby beach. The victims said Kromer’s son confronted them over the use of beach chairs left by a beach access. Kromer then allegedly grabbed one of the boy's fishing poles and threw it into the water, then later pushed one of the boys to the ground and punched him in the face.
The victims, one of whom is a neighbor of Kromer’s, say that Kromer then told the boys to return the chairs to where they found them, according to a statement issued by the Walton County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) and posted to Facebook. One victim stated Kromer also told him if he reported him to the police, he would kill his family.
Kromer is the former offensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears, but was fired after making critical comments about Bears’ quarterback Jay Cutler, alleging that Cutler “absolutely killed” the team with his poor decision-making.
After his arrest and booking, Kromer was released on bond. He had been put on indefinite paid leave by the Buffalo Bills.
The statement issued by the sheriff’s office indicated that, “WCSO is continuing to investigate and additional charges may be filed.”
Responding to the news of the altercation, the Buffalo Bills released a statement.
“We are aware of the report and in the process of gathering the facts,” said the team.
According to NBC Sports, the first opportunity to resolve the case comes on August 12, when Kromer is due to be in court and is expected to enter a plea. If he works out a plea deal with prosecutors by then, the case could end that day. He will then remain on paid leave until the NFL decides on a punishment under its official Personal Conduct Policy, which could result in unpaid leave.
Charges may also be filed against Kromer’s son. Zachery Kromer officially faces misdemeanor battery charges arising from the same incident. Mike Rodak of ESPN.com has reported that the 21-year-old entered a written plea of not guilty, and is due in court for a pretrial hearing on September 2.
Assistant Florida state attorney Bobby Elmore told ESPN that he won’t rule out child abuse charges against either Aaron or Zachery Kromer until he speaks to the accusers in the case. Elmore is expected to travel to the Atlanta area to meet with the alleged victims and their attorneys.