Dallas police announced Wednesday they have suspended their investigation into an incident Sunday night that involved the Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott. A man was punched in the face at a bar, suffering a broken nose, but neither he nor any potential witnesses have been cooperative, authorities said.
Reports had indicated that Elliott was at the scene of the incident, but his degree of involvement was unclear. The second-year player, who led the NFL in rushing yards as a rookie, continues to be under investigation by the league for previous accusations of domestic violence, and possibly also for Sunday’s episode, and he could still be suspended.
Police said in a statement that the case was being “suspended due to the lack of a complaint.” They said that detectives had “made several attempts to contact the victim through various ways but at this time have not been able to make contact,” adding, “To date no witnesses have come forward to provide any additional information about this incident.”
The alleged victim, identified by Dallas newspapers as Nkemakola “Daryl” Ibeneme, was also known in the club scene as “DJ D Train.” A man who claimed to have been an eye witness to the incident told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that Elliott “didn’t throw the punch.”
Cowboys Coach Jason Garrett said he hadn’t spoken with Elliott about the incident but planned to when they meet Friday. Elliott, who turns 22 on Saturday, was described by his coach (via ESPN) as “someone we believe very strongly in as a person and as a football player.”
“As you well know, because of his style and personality, it’s like a rock star wherever he goes in terms of attention,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said of Elliott this week. “Anybody that’s experienced that knows that takes getting used to. You have to learn many aspects of that.
“Certainly Zeke is evolving and being subject to needing to learn how to deal with the media and social media the way it is today.”
The domestic-abuse accusations, made by a former girlfriend of Elliott’s, date back to July 2016 and are alleged to have taken place in Columbus, Ohio, where the running back starred at Ohio State. Since being drafted by the Cowboys, Elliott has committed some questionable acts, including exposing a woman’s breast at a St. Patrick’s Day parade in Dallas and visiting a recreational marijuana shop in Seattle hours before a preseason game against the Seahawks.