ESPN writer Howard Bryant agreed to serve six months of pretrial probation stemming from charges that he assaulted his estranged wife in February.
If Bryant violates any laws during the probation, he could be brought back up on charges of domestic assault and battery, resisting arrest and assault and battery on a police officer, according to Greenfield District Court Judge William Mazanec.
Bryant wont have any charges on his criminal record if he successfully completes the probation.
There wasn’t enough evidence to support allegations that Bryant struck and choked his wife or inflicted violence on her.
“Having always maintained my innocence of these charges, I’m gratified that the Commonwealth has determined that all allegations against me are unsubstantiated,” Bryant said in a statement. “I look forward to devoting full attention to my top priorities, my family and my work.”
At Bryant’s arraignment in February, his lawyer, Buz Eisenberg, maintained that his arrest was racially motivated. Bryant is black, his wife is white. Veronique Bryant also told reporters that she did not feel endangered by her husband and that police acted inappropriately. She did not press charges against Bryant, but police took him into custody, nonetheless.
A state police spokesman later said that Bryant was combative and denied that race was a factor in his arrest.
An agreement signed by Eisenberg and prosecutor Jeremy C. Bucci states that a review of the evidence does not support the witness allegations that Bryant struck and choked his wife or inflicted violence on her, although Bryant admits police had probable cause to arrest him. The agreement also expressed Bryant’s regrets that a private matter became public and offired his support for measures to combat domestic violence.
“Furthermore, Mr. Bryant recognizes and respects the importance of encouraging citizens to call the police when they witness conduct they feel is violent and continues to encourage such community participation as a vital part of a free and just society,” the agreement states.
Bryant also apologized for giving the impression that race played a part in the actions of police, although the agreement states that he “believes that racism in any form diminishes all members of a community.”