Falcons' Ra'Shede Hageman facing domestic violence charges

FILE - In this Aug. 18, 2016, file photo, Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Ra'Shede Hageman (77) walks off the field after an NFL preseason football game against the Cleveland Browns, in Cleveland. Falcons coach Dan Quinn confirmed Monday, Sept. 12, 2016,
David Richard, File

ATLANTA (AP) Falcons coach Dan Quinn confirmed on Monday that defensive tackle Ra'Shede Hageman is facing domestic violence charges resulting from an incident about six months ago.

Hageman, a second-round draft choice in 2014, was held out of Sunday's season-opening 31-24 loss to Tampa Bay. Quinn said Monday the pending misdemeanor charges in DeKalb County, Georgia were not the reason Hageman was not in uniform.

Hageman played in all 16 games, including 12 starts, in 2015.

''We're aware of the serious allegations that are there,'' Quinn said. ''Under the player conduct policy we are not allowed to comment on any investigation forthright. We have been aware of those but won't comment further until the league comes to a final conclusion and all the facts are known.''

According to the DeKalb County police report obtained by The Associated Press, the charges of battery, cruelty to children and interfering with calls for emergency assistance developed from an incident on March 21 at the home of Hageman's girlfriend, Janeal Jefferies.

Jefferies told police the two had been in court earlier in the day for a custody battle for their son.

Jefferies told police Hageman entered her apartment home demanding his keys and began throwing items around the home when she said she didn't have the keys. She told police her son was crying as he watched Hageman pull her hair, verbally abuse her and then grab her phone, pulling the line out of the wall, when she said she was going to call 911.

According to the police report, Jefferies said Hageman took her wallet and cellphone and left the apartment before being pursued by Jefferies. She said Hageman handed the items to a male in the parking deck but then pushed her down. The police report said Jefferies had a laceration on her left elbow and left hand.

Quinn said the team immediately notified the NFL in March about the charges.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported the charges on Monday.

Hageman (6-6, 318) had 27 tackles and one sack last season. He has a combined two sacks in his first two seasons.

Quinn said Hageman was held out of Sunday's opener because coaches felt veteran Courtney Upshaw, an offseason free-agent signee, would be a better fit for the game plan.

When asked why Hageman is still on the team, Quinn said, ''I think each situation is different. In this one we certainly allowed the appropriate channels to take place.''


AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and AP NFL Twitter feed: www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

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