Greg Hardy released on bond, incident details emerge

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Greg Hardy was released on bond Wednesday following allegations levied by his girlfriend that the Panthers defensive end threw her on a couch covered with guns and threatened to shoot her.

Greg Hardy was released on bond Wednesday after being arrested Tuesday following an altercation with his girlfriend, Nicole Holder, the Charlotte Observer reports. Hardy was charged with misdemeanor assault on a female and communicating a threat. Holder alleged that she sustained "large areas of bruising and swelling" after being slammed against a futon and strangled during an argument at Hardy's home.

Couch covered in guns

Holder reportedly filed for a restraining order against Hardy. The warrant for his arrest said that the Carolina Panthers defensive end made his threat "in a manner and under circumstances which would cause a reasonable person to believe that the threat was likely to be carried out."

The incident allegedly occurred at an "after party" in uptown Charlotte. Both Hardy and Holder were reportedly intoxicated. Details of how an altercation began are unclear. The Observer revealed details of the fight itself:

The arrest warrants accuse the Panther lineman of throwing girlfriend Nicole Holder to the floor and into a bathtub, slamming her against a Futon and "strangling" during an argument at his home.

According to Holder, she was thrown on to a couch covered "in assault weapons and/or shotguns." At that point, Hardy allegedly bragged that the assault weapons were loaded, and threatened to shoot Holder if she "went to the media or reported his assaults to anyone." She alleged that Hardy has 25-30 firearms: "AK-47s, automatic-looking weapons, shotguns, rifles and pistols."

Police responded to a call placed by Hardy at 4:18 a.m. ET. Bond was set at $15,000 for the assault charge and $2,000 for the threat. Hardy was jailed overnight Tuesday into Wednesday morning. It is common practice for suspects in domestic violence cases to be denied bond for at least 24 hours after an incident to allow a "cooling-off period," according to the Observer.

Upon Hardy's release, Mecklenburg County Judge Becky Thorne Tin told him not to have any contact with Holder -- even if she attempted to contact him -- and to begin attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings three times per week. Hardy's next court appearance is tentatively scheduled for June 27.

Hardy responded "yes, ma'am" when asked if understood the terms of his release.

Hardy's lawyer responds

Chris Fialko, Hardy's attorney, told Tin that Holder initiated the confrontation, attacking Hardy and a friend, Sammy Curtis. Holder refused to leave Hardy's home, according to Fialko. After the incident, Hardy called 911, a fact that isn't disputed by Holder's representation.

Holder did not attend Wednesday's hearing, but stood outside the courtroom. Her attorney, Stephen Goodwin, said that Curtis held down Holder as Hardy placed the 911 call, and insisted that his client was not the aggressor "by a long shot."

"She weighs less than 120 pounds," Goodwin said. "Mr. Hardy (is an) All-Pro (defensive end), strong, big.

"... It was a fight. He threw her around the room."

Panthers 'disappointed'

The Panthers released a brief statement Tuesday addressing the situation:

"We are very disappointed to learn of the allegations involving Greg and are concerned for all parties as we continue to investigate."

Hardy is on track to play the 2014 season under Carolina's franchise tag. Prior to being designated the team's franchise player, he was set to become an unrestricted free agent at the start of NFL free agency last March. The Panthers have expressed interest in signing the defensive end to a long-term contract. It is unclear yet how Hardy's off-field incident will affect his status on the team.

Should Hardy miss playing time due to incident, rookie Kony Ealy could be shuffled into a big role on the opposite end of the defensive line from Charles Johnson. Fellow defensive end Frank Alexander has also had off-field trouble this offseason, earning a four-game suspension to start the 2014 season for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.

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