The Broward County State Attorney’s Office said Tuesday it won’t file any charges against Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry.
Landry has maintained that he was innocent and did not strike Estrella Cerqueira, the mother of his child, in the spring.
“I’ve been very upfront with the team,” Landry told reporters in August. “I’ve been very upfront with the law enforcement.”
On Tuesday, Jarvis expressed his gratitude in a statement: “I am very thankful that this matter is over and my family and I can put this behind us now. I greatly respect the Broward County State Attorney’s Office for their hard work and thorough investigation into this matter and I am thankful that they were able to come to a conclusion that reaffirms the true facts that no crime was committed.”
Cerqueira issued a statement in August in which she said she had had a vocal disagreement with Landry in March. But she had not called 911. While “freaked out,” the attorney’s memorandum read, she had called her mother and sister, and her sister placed the call to 911, wrote Stefanie Newman, the assistant state attorney in charge of the domestic violence unit. Her memorandum was released Tuesday.
“I, myself, did not call police,” Cerqueira said in her August statement. “When the police arrived, they determined there was no cause for any arrests nor was there any concern for my physical well-being. There were no arrests made. There were no criminal charges. I was not in any way physically harmed.”
According to the state attorney’s report, Landry and Cerqueira were arguing in front of their Fort Lauderdale apartment. She had moved out three days earlier and had returned to pick up some of her belongings. Landry put their 4-month-old daughter in the back seat of her car and she said she asked him to remain with the baby while she went upstairs to gather her stuff.
They quarreled when he told her not to go upstairs and that he would have things sent to her. Upset, she called her mother and sister. Landry, the report said, grabbed her phone and threw it into the car. In doing so, his hand touched her chest and she fell back toward the car, but he did not intentionally push her, she said.
Cerqueira stated that because of her emotional state, “she exaggerated the whole situation” and that Landry never slapped her and had never been physically abusive with her before.
A surveillance video, reviewed by the state attorney’s office, corroborated her statement. The video showed what appeared to be a cellphone in her hand and Landry throwing the object into the car where it landed on the passenger side.
“When watched carefully, the video is consistent with the victim’s account of the incident, that the defendant did not slap her, but instead grabbed her phone and threw it back into the car,” Newman’s memorandum read.
Florida statutes define battery as the actual and intentional touching or striking of another person against his or her will.
Newman’s conclusion: “The victim maintains that the defendant did not intend to touch her [or] strike her, but accidentally did so and may not have even realized that he had touched her chest as he reached for her phone. There are no independent witnesses to this incident. The video surveillance of the incident appears to corroborate the victim’s account as well.
“In light of the above-referenced facts, there is no reasonable likelihood of conviction,” the report read, “and it is the recommendation of this ASA that charges should be declined.”
Miami Herald reporters David. J. Neal and Adam Beasley contributed to this report.