KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) – A letter sent to the NFL by an attorney for Tyreek Hill states the Chiefs player “categorically denies” punching his young son in the chest and reiterates that he was not involved when the child’s arm was broken.
The letter, drafted by attorney N. Trey Pettlon and obtained by the Associated Press who provided it to KCTV5 News, makes numerous references to insinuations made by Crystal Espinal in a recorded conversation that was first uncovered by KCTV5 a week ago.
Pettlon stated the boy was examined and released without “any indication that the accident that broke his arm was caused by Tyreek or contributed to by Tyreek,” adding that there was nothing to suggest the injury was anything other than an accident.
The lawyer went on to dispute Espinal’s claims on the recording that Hill punches his son’s chest or any other part of his body.
He said the conversation in the recording “was the first time Tyreek ever heard anyone allege he punched his son to punish him,” instead saying Hill would sometimes tap his son “gently on the chest” with a finger when the boy cried and tell his child, “man up, buddy” or “don’t cry, my man.”
Pettlon said that Hill and his son like to “play fight” when the child was wearing an superhero costume and that Hill would sometimes “tag” the child on the chest or legs.
He noted that Espinal is the primary disciplinarian of the boy and that she and Hill both had said they grew up in households where corporal punishment was used and had used “spanking” as a form of discipline with the child.
Pettlon disputes Espinal’s claim in the recording that she never used a belt to discipline the child, claiming that Hill and Espinal exchanged a series of text messages following the Dubai trip that shows Espinal had hurt the child and blamed Hill.
He also pushes back on the idea that the 3-year-old is “terrified” of the Hill but does say Hill’s response to Espinal on the recording that “she should be terrified too” was unacceptable and inexcusable.
Pettlon contends that such exchanges was out of character for Hill in relation to Espinal and said he thought is seemed clear in the audio that Espinal was not “terrified of Tyreek.”
He noted that following the conversation in Dubai both Hill and Espinal began family counseling and that Hill was still involved in that counseling as well as individual counseling. Pettlon also said both parents now understand that corporal punishment is not “an acceptable form of discipline” and are cooperating with DCF.
Pettlon finishes the letter by saying Hill maintains his innocence and looks forward to speaking directly to league officials.
An investigation into reports of child abuse at a home owned by Hill in Overland Park was reopened last Friday, two days after being initially closed by the Johnson County District Attorney’s office.