Crime

NFL sought police records in child abuse investigation involving Tyreek Hill

The NFL in March sought records from police about complaints of child abuse involving Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill and his son, according to a letter a league representative sent to the Overland Park Police Department.

The letter, dated March 12, came three days before The Star reported that Hill was under investigation for an alleged battery. The Chiefs said then that they were aware of the investigation.

Since then, Overland Park police, the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office and the Kansas Department for Children and Families have said they are investigating alleged incidents of battery and child abuse or neglect involving Hill at his home.

Hill has not been charged with a crime and has not commented publicly on the investigations.

A copy of the letter from the NFL obtained by The Star showed it was sent by Dirk Taitt, who identified himself as an NFL security representative. The NFL declined to comment on the letter Wednesday.

Citing the Kansas Open Records Act, the NFL asked the police department for reports related to “recent child abuse complaints involving the parents Crystal Espinal and Tyreek Hill as it relates to alleged injuries sustained by the couple’s minor child.”

The request goes on to ask for “all reports” relevant to the case, including calls for service, photos, witness statements, police report narratives, medical records, video tapes, recordings of 911 calls and “any reports related to review findings” by the Johnson County District Attorney’s office.

In the letter, Taitt wrote the NFL was “reviewing this incident to evaluate whether a violation of the NFL Personal Conduct Policy occurred related to a complaint or arrest involving an NFL employee, in this case, Mr. Hill.”

The police department responded to the NFL’s request the same day, providing a copy of a March 5 police report that would be made public a few days later. That report concerned a report of child abuse or neglect at Hill’s home and listed Hill and Espinal as “others involved.”

As noted by the police department in its response, only a portion of the report was released. Other portions, including details of what occurred and any information about a suspect, were not released. Police said that, because the report concerned a child in need of care, the full report would not be released without a court order.

The district attorney’s office said on Monday afternoon that the investigation involving Hill was still ongoing.

Hill, the 25-year-old star wide receiver for the Chiefs, has a history of domestic violence.

In 2014, Hill reportedly punched and choked Espinal, who was then eight weeks pregnant with their son.

He was arrested and dismissed from the Oklahoma State football team. He pleaded guilty to domestic assault and battery by strangulation in August 2015, and received three years probation.

The Chiefs selected Hill in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft. The conviction was dismissed last August and ordered to be expunged after he completed his probation requirements.

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Kaitlyn Schwers covers breaking news and crime at night for The Kansas City Star. Originally from Willard, Mo., she spent nearly three years reporting in Arkansas and Illinois before returning to Missouri and joining The Star in 2017.
Brooke Pryor covers the Kansas City Chiefs for the Kansas City Star, where she works to give readers a deeper understanding of the franchise and the NFL through daily stories, game coverage, and player profiles. She attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and grew up in Winston-Salem, N.C.
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