Buffalo Bills coach accused of punching boy and threatening family in beach chair quarrel
A member of the Buffalo Bills coaching staff was arrested early Sunday in a seaside Florida community after he was accused of punching a boy in the face and threatening to kill the youth’s family in an altercation over beach chairs, according to police.
Aaron Kromer, an offensive line coach who has been in the National Football League for 15 years, was jailed on a misdemeanor battery charge but later released on bond, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office said in an online statement.
According to the sheriff’s office, three boys who had been fishing at Inlet Beach on Florida’s Panhandle on Saturday were confronted by Kromer and his son over the use of several chairs left near the beach.
The boys told sheriff’s deputies that Kromer grabbed their fishing pole and pushed one boy to the ground, then punched him in the face. The victim told investigators that Kromer threatened to kill the boy’s family if he reported the incident to police, the sheriff’s statement said.
The sheriff’s office said it was still investigating the incident, and that additional charges could be filed. Inlet Beach is located about 25 miles northwest of Panama City and 125 miles west of Tallahassee, the state capital.
Kromer was not immediately available for comment.
The Buffalo Bills, in a statement posted on NFL.com, the league’s website, said, “We are aware of the report and in the process of gathering the facts.”
The arrest follows a string of domestic violence charges brought against several NFL players last year, prompting the league to overhaul its personal conduct policy.
Kromer joined the Bills this season after two years as the offensive coordinator and line coach for the Chicago Bears.
He also spent five years with the New Orleans Saints, where he worked with the offensive line and running backs in addition to serving as interim head coach for the first six games of the 2012 regular season. He was a member of the coaching staff in 2009, when the Saints won the Super Bowl.
(Reporting by Steve Gorman from Los Angeles; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)