Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard is being investigated for child abuse stemming from an alleged incident that happened during the summer. The investigation was originally closed, according to TMZ, but Cobb County Police re-opened the investigation Tuesday, according to NBC News.
According to the NBC News report, Cobb County Police received a report of alleged child abuse involving Howard and his 6-year-old son. There was an investigation, but police determined there wasn't enough evidence to move forward. That changed in the last 48 hours, according to police, and the investigation has been re-opened.
The incident stems from an allegation that Howard whipped his son with a belt, leaving bruises and abrasions on his leg, according to TMZ. Howard reportedly told police he did whip his son with a belt, but his lawyer filed documents claiming Howard never caused bruises, welts or any injuries requiring medical treatment. NBC reports the investigation was initially closed because there were "no substantiated findings of physical injuries." Howard reportedly told police that he didn't know the punishment was wrong because he received similar punishment as a child.
Howard's attorney, David Oscar Markus, released a statement to the Orlando Sentinel calling the allegations "frivolous." Howard recently filed for custody of his son and Markus said the timing of the reports of the abuse investigation was not a coincidence.
"It is troubling to see a mother use her son as a pawn against his father, which is what is happening in this case," Markus said is a statement, via the Orlando Sentinel. "Dwight Howard will continue to act in the best interest of his children and do whatever is necessary to protect their welfare and best interests."
Police have not released details of the new information that led to the case being re-opened.