Dallas judge tells quarterback Manziel not to contact former girlfriend

Reuters News
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Posted: May 05, 2016 7:10 AM

By Lisa Maria Garza

DALLAS (Reuters) - Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel made his first appearance in a Dallas court on Thursday on a charge of assaulting his former girlfriend, and the judge told him to keep away from her.

Manziel, 23, surrendered to police on Wednesday, had a mugshot taken and posted bail of $1,500. He has been charged with a class-A misdemeanor, which can bring up to one year in jail.In the four-minute court appearance, Dallas County Judge Roberto Cañas told Manziel he must not have any contact with the woman he is charged with assaulting and must surrender any weapons.

"You can't call her, can't text her, can't email her, can't send her any letters or go to where she's at," Judge Cañas said.

Manziel nodded and gave a brief reply in confirmation of the conditions. He also said he does not have any weapons to surrender.

The charge was another setback for the former football star, whose erratic play and partying prompted the Cleveland Browns to cut him in March.

Manziel, who became known as "Johnny Football" in winning the Heisman Trophy in 2012 as the best player in college football, was picked by the Browns in the first round of the National Football League draft after leaving Texas A&M University.

The grand jury heard evidence about a January incident in which Manziel is suspected of hitting, kidnapping and threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend, Colleen Crowley, 23.

She accused Manziel of hitting her so hard that she temporarily lost her hearing, court papers show.

In a statement in April made before the indictment, Manziel said: "I’m hoping to take care of the issues in front of me right now so I can focus on what I have to do if I want to play in 2016."

The NFL in recent years has sought to toughen its policy on players involved in domestic violence. League spokesman Brian McCarthy has said if Manziel were to sign with a team, he would be "subject to all aspects of the NFL's personal conduct policy."

(Reporting by Lisa Maria Garza; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Bernard Orr and Dan Grebler)