CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Panthers Pro Bowl defensive end Greg Hardy was released from jail on $17,000 bond Wednesday, one day after being arrested on charges of assault on a female and communicating threats.
Hardy, a former Ole Miss standout, left jail wearing sweatpants and a black tank top but did not comment.
Charlotte Mecklenburg County Judge Rebecca Thorne Tin called Hardy a potential threat and ordered him not to have any contact with the accuser and to attend three Alcoholic Anonymous meetings per week.
His attorney, Chris Fialko, argued in court – and later outside the courtroom – that Hardy and friend Sammy Curtis were attacked by the accuser, and that it was Hardy who made the 911 call to police at 4:18 a.m. Tuesday.
But the accuser’s attorney, Stephen Goodwin, said his client was held down by Curtis and prevented from calling police. Goodwin said she has bruises from “from her head to her toes” and that she was “flung around the room” by the 6-foot-4, 290-pound Hardy.
Hardy spent Tuesday night in jail. He appeared in court wearing an orange jump suit.
Tin said the court was “very concerned” about the bruises on the accuser’s back.
Goodwin said outside the courthouse that his 120-pound client “was drug across the floor.” He also said his client injured her elbow when she was thrown in a tiled bathroom.
Goodwin called Fialko’s claim that Hardy was the one attacked by the accuser incorrect.
“The physical evidence doesn’t even come close to matching that,” Goodwin said.
Goodwin said Hardy and the accuser, who he said works as a waitress in Charlotte, were involved in a relationship and previously lived together. They were not living together at the time of the incident, which occurred at Hardy’s downtown apartment at an “after hours” party.
Goodwin said he doesn’t know what sparked the fight.
Police said patrol officers responded to a domestic violence assault call early Tuesday morning in Charlotte.
Upon arriving, officers spoke to the 24-year-old woman, who told them that she had been physically assaulted and threatened by Hardy. She said that she and Hardy had been in a relationship since September 2013.
According to the report, she suffered bruises and scratches, but refused treatment. Goodwin said his client did go to the emergency room later Tuesday and that her arm is now in a sling.
Hardy’s NFL agent, Drew Rosenhaus, was in the courtroom, but declined comment.
Hardy tied a franchise record with 15 sacks last season for the league’s second-ranked defense. He had 11 sacks in 2012.
That production convinced the salary-cap strapped Panthers to make Hardy their franchise player at $13.116 million for one season. Hardy signed the team’s offer sheet in March.
The Panthers said in a statement Tuesday they were “very disappointed” to learn of the allegations involving Hardy and planned to investigate.
The Panthers organization is particularly sensitive to domestic violence issues.
In 2001, Panthers wide receiver Rae Carruth was found guilty of conspiring to murder his girlfriend, Cherica Adams, who was carrying his child. Carruth was sentenced to 18 to 24 years in prison.
Hardy’s court appearance comes on the same day the Panthers hosted a breakfast at their stadium for “Men For Change,” a group that serves victims of domestic violence.