Green-Beckham won’t be charged in burglary investigation, witness fears possible backlash
Columbia police announced Thursday that no arrests will be made in a burglary investigation involving Missouri receiver Dorial Green-Beckham.
“Based on the information obtained during the investigation there will be no arrests made in this case,” Columbia Police spokeswoman Latisha Stroer said in a news release.
Coach Gary Pinkel announced the junior receiver’s indefinite suspension Monday for an unspecified violation of team rules.
According a police report, Green-Beckham unlawfully entered a residence at 310 Old Plank Rd. at 2:36 a.m. Sunday. According to the report, the case was closed mostly because victims and witnesses feared retaliation and harassment for bringing a criminal complaint against the star football player.
Green-Beckham, a Springfield native, was the No. 1 high school recruit in 2012 and has been a starter for the team.
According to the report, Green-Beckham entered the residence looking for his girlfriend. Her roommate expected guests to arrive, so she opened the door of the apartment. When she saw Green-Beckham approaching, she tried to shut the door. The roommate said Green-Beckham forced his way in with enough force that the doorknob went through the drywall of an adjacent wall.
After breaking into the apartment, the roommate said Green-Beckham went further into the residence looking for his girlfriend. According to the report, he descended a flight of stairs and shoved another female victim in the chest, causing her to fall down four stairs.
When police responded at 3:31 a.m., the female victim had slight bruising and swelling of her right wrist and could hardly move fingers on her right hand.
Responding officer Michael Kile said in the report that after talking to the two roommates, he filed an arrest warrant for Green-Beckham on a felony charge of first-degree burglary. Later that night, the two women went to the Columbia Police Department and filled out “decline of prosecution” forms.
The report says one victim was, “afraid of the media and community backlash since Green-Beckham is a football player at the University of Missouri and is possibly going to be in the NFL draft soon.”
Jill Schlude, assistant police chief for Columbia, told KFRU-AM earlier this week that police investigations of Missouri athletes in the college town are routinely hampered by wary witnesses.
“If you’re a Mizzou student, do you want to be the person who, to use their terminology, ‘snitched out’ somebody who’s this big athlete, star on campus, whatever?” she said. “There’s a lot of pressure there sometimes on the students.”
Due to the fears of reprisals and physical harm, KBIA Sports is withholding the names of the alleged victims.
The other victim also decided not to press charges because, “she did not want to put her friend … through the mental stress of it as well as being afraid of retaliation against her and her property.”
Green-Beckham’s girlfriend sent 16 text messages throughout the day on Sunday to one of her roommates. In the texts, the girlfriend pressured her roommate into declining prosecution. She said in a text, “Can you call me? Or the police department? And not have him arrested.” And a few texts later: “We just need to move quickly on this before he’s arrested and before his warrant is made public.”
His girlfriend pressed her roommate several times to decline prosecution to help Green-Beckham’s football career, saying “Dorial was wrong in every way and you have a every right to be furious. But football is really all he has going for him and pressing charges would ruin it for him completely.”
Green-Beckham’s girlfriend continued, saying in another text, “He deserves to pay somehow, but without football he has nothing. He wouldn’t be in a real job. He’d be in the streets and in prison like his brothers.”
In the text conversation, Green-Beckham’s girlfriend said that he, “drug me out by my neck and hurt me too.” In a follow up interview with Detective Alma Ashbury, she denied that Green-Beckham hurt her. The report describes her as “extremely uncooperative”.
One of the female victims reported that Missouri coaches talked to Green-Beckham’s girlfriend and explained the seriousness of the matter:
“He will be kicked out of Mizzou and the not (sic) qualify for the draft next year. The coaches talked to me and explained to e (sic) how serious this is and there’s no time to waste at this point.”
According to Ashbury though, the girlfriend denied that the coaching staff had approached her, despite admitting that she had sent a text to her roommate that Missouri coaches had come to her to make sure the charges would be dropped.
MU Athletics could not be reached for comment.
This is Green-Beckham’s third incident with police since he arrived at MU. In January, he was arrested along with two men after Springfield police found a pound of marijuana in their car. No criminal charges have been filed in that case. Green-Beckham was also charged in October 2012 with marijuana possession in Columbia and later pleaded guilty to second-degree trespassing. He and two teammates were reportedly smoking pot in a campus parking lot near Memorial Stadium.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this story.