Off the Record (OTR)

Eyewitness: Rainey didn’t slap his girlfriend (full email)

ChrisRaineyBy now, you have heard about Pittsburgh Steelers RB Chris Rainey and his departure from the team. He was cut on Thursday following his arrest on domestic assault charges after he decided to allegedly slap his girlfriend in the face.

However, one eyewitness to the crime didn’t give her story to the police (because as she says, Rainey’s girlfriend was telling them the truth about what happened and she didn’t think she needed to give a statement). She says that he didn’t smack her in the face and that the police got it all wrong.

Deadspin got the email that she originally emailed to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley:

From: Heather M.
To: Dom Cosentino

Mr. Cosentino,

I wrote this email to the ESPN writer who wrote the article about the arrest. I was told that you would be a good person to contact about it, and that you would be more likely to act on it.

Thanks for your time,

————— Forwarded message —————

Mr. Hensley,

I am writing you in regard to your article about the Steeler’s dismissal of Chris Rainey after his arrest this morning. Chris is actually my next door neighbor and I happened to see the whole ordeal transpire from my apartment as I was getting ready for class this morning. What the police report/your article describes as Chris “pull[ing] the woman out of a vehicle…and then slapp[ing] her in the face with an open hand” was actually him pulling on a backpack that she was also holding and she took a few steps outside the open car door that she was sitting sideways in (because he obviously pulled harder than she did). The only thing that I can imagine witnesses claiming to be a slap to the face was when he tried to snatch the bag and she put her hand in the way and his hand made a slapping noise against hers.

By the time I left for class, there were police officers taking statements, but the girl with whom he was arguing was telling the police officers the truth about what happened, so I did not feel it was necessary to make a statement. It seemed like they were just going through a formality because 911 was called. As a result of reading your article, I contacted GPD and asked to file a report on what actually happened. I was treated like a criminal, despite being a straight A student and never having even a little trouble with the law. I was accused of lying and told that, although they can’t tell me who reported what, there was at least one witness who said they saw him slap her in the face.

I think that it is also worth noting that the person who called 911 was a neighbor who openly dislikes Chris and his roommate and wanders the neighborhood asking if she can have our passwords for our internet instead of buying her own.

Thank you,
Heather M.

Rainey had issues dating back to his time at the University of Florida and the Steelers knew this when they took him in the fifth round in 2012. On the surface, it would seem that the Steelers cut him because of this one incident, and if what Heather is saying is true, he shouldn’t have been cut. But, Rainey also had two other issues this year when he was driving without a license and later cited for “defiant trespass” at a casino.

Add all of that up and then factor in the fact that he’s hardly Adrian Peterson and the Steelers’ decision makes sense.

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