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Taking the Top off the Tyreek Hill Battery Allegations

It was reported Tuesday evening that Dolphins’ star WR Tyreek Hill was under investigation for assault/battery in Miami for an alleged physical altercation that occurred at the Miami Beach Marina. Mr. Hill allegedly hit a marina employee during a “disagreement” that took place on Sunday, June 18th. According to Andy Slater, the allegations were that Hill slapped the employee on the back of the head but that the employee has declined to press charges at this time. Yesterday, June 21, 2023, Slater followed up this scoop with another that law enforcement sources told him that they were declining to press charges. Case closed, right? Wrong. According to Miami PD, “The investigation into the alleged battery by Tyreek Hill continues. Any reports saying it is over are not accurate.” So where is this case, currently? As far as I can tell, it is still under investigation. Additionally, @IanMargolWPLG included a redacted copy of the police report on Twitter.

As reported in the police report, “The alleged victim observed two unknown females on one of the fishing charter boats without permission. He was told by the boat captain to advise the females to get off the boat. A verbal altercation broke out between the Kelly Fishing Fleet and the females on the boat and their male companions that turned physical when Tyreek Hill allegedly slapped the alleged victim on the back of the neck with an open hand.” It should also be noted that the subject (i.e. Hill) was being pushed away from the altercation. Law enforcement observed no visible injuries, but this alleged altercation was captured by video surveillance cameras. What does this all mean?

I have previously stated on Twitter that likely nothing would ultimately come of this. By that I mean, Tyreek Hill isn’t likely going to be convicted of this alleged battery. That is because this alleged battery is non-domestic in nature. Though hitting a random stranger is legally a battery, law enforcement and State Attorney’s Offices often shy away from filing said cases. That is because with battery cases law enforcement is trying to prevent domestic battery (ones with romantic relationships: girlfriend/boyfriend, husband/wife, etc.) Additionally, it was also noted in the police report that no injuries were observed. Even with alleged video surveillance of this incident, with no injuries, what jury is going to care? In my experience as a former felony prosecutor, I would decline to file formal charges if I were the prosecutor. That is because it sounds like a tussle where nobody was injured. Additionally, it was noted in the police report that Tyreek Hill was touched first and as such would have the right to defend himself if he felt threatened. Could Hill be charged? It is possible, yes. They sound like they now have a cooperative victim and video surveillance of this incident. Could they charge Hill with trespass? Sure, if this alleged altercation occurred on this boat and Hill jumped onto the boat. Could they charge Hill with a lesser included offense of disorderly conduct? Yes, however, no matter the charge the analysis is the same. Why would any jury care? Would a jury care if he jumped onto the boat to defend the females he was with? No. I have tried 40+ jury and non-jury civil and criminal trials ranging from low-level crimes to 1st-degree felonies, and I can promise you this, juries cannot stand having their time wasted. This is what this case looks like. Unless egregious facts come to light that haven’t previously been reported, this case will unlikely end with a battery conviction for Tyreek Hill.

Matthew F. Tympanick, Esq. is the Founder/Principal of Tympanick Law, P.A., located in Sarasota, Florida where he focuses his practice on Criminal Defense, Personal Injury Law, and Sports Law. Arrested or Injured? Don’t Panic…Call Tympanick! 1(888)NOPANIC. He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts School of Law where he served as a Public Interest Fellow and a Staff Editor on the UMass Law Review. He has appeared nationally on television, radio, and podcasts discussing criminal cases specifically sports criminal cases. He was previously a felony prosecutor where he prosecuted thousands of misdemeanor and felony criminal cases. He also has tried over 40 jury and non-jury cases. You can follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook @TympanickLaw.

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