Raiders coach Tom Cable won’t face charges after being investigated over allegations that he assaulted one of his assistants, The Associated Press reported Oct. 22.
Napa County district attorney Gary Lieberstein said the investigation concluded no charges were warranted.
“Our duty is to do the right thing for the right reasons,” Lieberstein told reporters at a news conference in Napa, Calif. on Oct. 22. “Under the facts and circumstances of this case, it would be a miscarriage of justice to pursue criminal charges and we will not ask our citizens to give up their valuable time for jury duty, nor will we allow our criminal justice system to be compromised.”
Cable, right, denied the charges from the beginning. He repeatedly told reporters "nothing happened," regarding the reported altercation with Randy Hanson. Speaking to reporters Oct. 23, Cable said:
“I’m obviously very thankful that the authorities did the thoroughness that they did in terms of getting the facts and all that. I never let it become a distraction because as I mentioned many times, I just had a lot of faith. I knew what happened.”
“I think that all the speculation and opinion and whatever that was said, I thought the DA did a tremendous job in really laying out exactly what went down.”
Commissioner Roger Goodell said earlier that criminal charges need not be brought against Cable, 44, for the NFL to discipline him if he broke the league’s conduct rules.
“We will review the decision announced earlier today by the Napa District Attorney and the facts developed in the underlying investigation,” the league said in a statement Oct. 22. “Following that review, we will take appropriate action, if any, under our policies.”
The alleged attack occurred at the team’s training camp hotel on Aug. 5 in Napa, after Cable called Hanson into a meeting with defensive coordinator John Marshall and defensive backs coaches Lionel Washington and Willie Brown.
Hanson, right, told Yahoo! Sports that Cable came up from behind him and knocked him out of his chair. Hanson said he broke his jaw and cracked two teeth after hitting a table. Hanson, 41, also alleged that Cable threatened to kill him before the other coaches pulled him away.
Hanson's attorney, John McGuinn, told Comcast Sportsnet California on Oct. 22 that he did not understand the decision not to press charges. “All I know is they had abundant evidence to proceed, but they chose not to,” McGuinn told the network. “I don’t know why they didn’t.”
Lieberstein told reporters that it was his belief that there was not enough evidence for a jury to convict Cable of any offenses beyond a reasonable doubt.
He said interviews with the three assistants established that Cable did not punch Hanson or make any verbal threats. He said evidence showed Cable became angry and rushed toward Hanson, but Washington stepped between the coaches.
Cable ran into Washington, who bumped into Hanson and knocked him out of his chair. The witnesses also told authorities that Cable then grabbed Hanson by the shirt but never struck or threatened him. Cable did not talk to police.
Lieberstein also said that because Hanson did not file a police report at the time of the alleged incident, police were unable to search the hotel room for any physical evidence that might have corroborated Hanson’s story. He said Hanson did not talk to the police until the end of September, which delayed the case.
“It should be further noted that within the past week and a half, Mr. Hanson showed up unannounced at the police department and made a statement to the effect that since the Raiders had not given him what he asked for, he would now fully cooperate with the prosecution,” Lieberstein said.
Lieberstein said there were inconsistencies in what Hanson told the police and what he said in media interviews. He said those were not cleared up in a follow-up interview on Oct. 21.
“Something happened but even he doesn’t know how it happened,” Lieberstein said. “I don’t even think he has a good idea.”
Lieberstein said the other Raiders coaches who were interviewed gave consistent statements.
Hanson reportedly is still being paid by the Raiders, but he has been told to stay away from team headquarters in Alameda, Calif.
Hanson reportedly was suspended last season by then Raiders coach Lane Kiffin after Hanson was critical of the team's effort in a season-opening loss to Denver. Raiders owner Al Davis intervened on Hanson's behalf and later fired Kiffin, who was replaced by Cable on an interim basis. Hanson was retained for a third season by Davis before Cable was named head coach earlier this year.