Ex-Bears coach Aaron Kromer charged with battery in beach-chair brouhaha

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A late-night fight over beach chairs landed Aaron Kromer on yet another hot seat Sunday, when the former Bears offensive coordinator was arrested and charged with misdemeanor battery.

Kromer is accused of punching a boy — a friend of Kromer’s neighbor in Florida— in the face and threatening to kill his family were he to report the incident to police.

The 48-year-old was booked into the Walton County (Fla.) Jail at 1:51 a.m. Sunday and released at 3:10 a.m. on bond.

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office said further charges could be forthcoming against Kromer, who became the Bills’ offensive line coach in January after a controversial end to his Bears coaching career.

According to the sheriff’s office release, deputies responded to an incident at Inlet Beach, in south Walton County, late Saturday night.

Three boys had been fishing on the beach when Kromer and the coach’s son confronted them over using beach chairs, which had been left near a path to the sand.

The boys claimed Kromer threw their fishing pole into the water and pushed one minor to the ground before punching him in the face. Kromer told them to return the chairs to the path.

The victim said Kromer threatened to kill the boy’s family were he to tell police about the incident, according to the release.

The Bills said Sunday they were aware of the incident and gathering details.

Kromer joined Rex Ryan’s staff on a two-year contract after two seasons as the Bears’ offensive coordinator.

His departure from Halas Hall came after a tumultuous final month. Kromer tearfully apologized to his offensive players in December after an NFL Network report said the Bears were having buyer’s remorse about quarterback Jay Cutler’s increasingly onerous seven-year, $126.7 million contract. Kromer had a private conversation with an NFL Network reporter the week before.

Coach Marc Trestman did not fire Kromer, but the franchise’s displeasure with his actions was clear. When the team fired Trestman and GM Phil Emery on Dec. 29, all the team’s assistants, save for one, technically remained under contract. Kromer was the lone assistant to be fired that day.

How the Bills, and the NFL, deal with allegations against Kromer will be telling.

The league’s new personal conduct policy requires a suspension of six games without pay for violations involving assault, battery and domestic violence, among other acts, though consideration can be given to mitigating circumstances.

Kromer could be placed on paid administrative leave while the NFL investigates the claims. The Bills open training camp July 31.

Follow me on Twitter: @patrickfinley


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