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Retired NFL Player Accused of Assaulting Son, Son's Boyfriend

Retired NFL Player Accused of Assaulting Son, Son's Boyfriend

Joe Staysniak

Former Indianapolis Colts player Joe Staysniak is charged with battery and strangulation.

Former Indianapolis Colts player Joe Staysniak has been arrested after being accused of assaulting his son and the son’s boyfriend.

Staysniak’s son, whose name was not released, told the Hendricks County Sheriff’s Office that a neighbor had spotted him and his boyfriend in a car outside the retired football player’s home in Brownsburg, Ind., Monday night, NBC News reports.

Staysniak came out to the car, opened the door, and began choking the boyfriend, according to an affidavit. Staysniak then punched both of the younger men, the affidavit says, causing his son’s lip to bleed. He also displayed a gun and told them “that they’re lucky he saw who it was,” the document says. The boyfriend told authorities that Staysniak held the gun to the side of his face at one point.

Staysniak told the sheriff’s department that the neighbor had advised him there was a “suspicious” car parked near his home. He said he told the boyfriend to never return to his property, but he denied attacking him physically. He said his son “came after him,” and he then pushed his son with an open hand, causing the son’s mouth to bleed. He had to restrain his son, he said, and his wife eventually separated them. He admitted to having a gun but said he did not touch anyone with it, according to the affidavit.

Staysniak was arrested early Tuesday and charged with strangulation and two counts of battery resulting in bodily injury. In a video appearance in Hendricks County Court, he entered a preliminary plea of not guilty. He was released, but the court ordered him to have no contact with his son or the boyfriend.

There will be a pretrial conference April 10, and a jury trial will begin April 25.

Staysniak was an offensive tackle for the Colts from 1992 to 1995. He also played for the Arizona Cardinals, the Buffalo Bills, and the Kansas City Chiefs, and he retired in 1996.

After his football career ended, he worked as a radio host in Indianapolis, where he drew criticism for his comments on race. “In June 2020, he was suspended for a week without pay after saying on air that Black people need to stop being victims,” Yahoo! Sports notes. “He also reportedly called kneeling in front of the American flag treasonous and argued the Confederate flag is not racist, adding that he found it hard to believe Black people are targeted by police.”

These remarks came during discussion of the protests in response to Black man George Floyd’s death at the hands of police in Minneapolis. Staysniak left his radio gig in 2021.

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