Prosecutors drop charges against Bengal Joe Mixon, but police say investigation is ongoing
A Hamilton County judge on Friday dismissed a warrant for Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon, which had alleged he threatened a woman with a gun during a road rage incident Jan. 21.
Judge Curt Kissinger told The Enquirer he signed off on the dismissal but said the charge "could possibly" be refiled. Kissenger said a city prosecutor has spoken with the woman who filed the complaint and she was in agreement with the temporary dismissal. A prosecutor told the judge the woman has remained cooperative in what now appears to be an ongoing investigation.
Kissinger was assigned the case and said prosecutors Friday morning asked to dismiss the charge.
Cincinnati Police Chief Teresa Theetge said Friday evening that new evidence has come to light and the dismissal gives the city time to do more investigation into the complaint.
"The evidence will guide CPD's investigation and actions, and newly obtained evidence has since been recovered," Theetge wrote in a statement. "Once all evidence is fully examined, criminal charges can be refiled at a later date."
The original case investigator, Jeffrey Ruberg, has been removed from the case and the case has been reassigned, Theetge said. This case involved a "high-profile individual" and Ruberg was supposed to submit the case for a cursory review "before any possible charge was filed to ensure completeness of the investigation," she said.
"That directive was not followed," Theetge added.
Ruberg issued a warrant on a charge of aggravated menacing for Mixon on Thursday, which quickly became national news. Court records alleged Mixon pointed a gun at a woman and said, “you should be popped in the face and I should shoot you.”
The police incident report, obtained via a public records request, described what happened as stemming from a road rage incident at Second and Walnut streets, a short distance from the stadium. The woman who filed the complaint said it happened at 12:49 p.m., which would have been shortly before the Bengals left for the divisional round playoff game against the Buffalo Bills the following day. She made the report at The Banks police substation immediately after it happened, according to the report.
Mixon played one of his best games of the season in Buffalo rushing for over 100 yards and scored two touchdowns in the win to advance to the AFC championship game.
Mixon, 26, just finished his sixth season with the Bengals and is a two-time team captain. Cincinnati gave Mixon a four-year contract extension worth $48 million in September of 2020. His contract runs through the 2024 season with the Bengals. He's coming off of a down year after being named to the Pro Bowl in 2021. He rushed for 814 yards and seven touchdowns in the 2022 season.
Mixon’s agent, Peter Schaffer, issued a statement Thursday night saying, “It was a rush to judgment. They’re dropping the charges first thing in the morning. I really feel that police have an obligation before they file charges – because of the damage that can be done to the person’s reputation – to do their work. They should be held to a higher standard.”
Prior to the allegation, Mixon's future in Cincinnati was uncertain. There's a possibility the Bengals could move on from him for salary cap reasons. If the Bengals were to cut him before June 1, the team would save $7.2 million. If the team decided to cut him after, it would save $10 million.
This story will be updated.
This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Aggravated menacing charge dropped against Cincinnati Bengal Joe Mixon