As is often the situation in domestic battery cases, the story has changed in that of Green Bay Packers linebacker Erik Walden.
Walden was arrested early last Friday on a charge of felony substantial battery after his girlfriend called police. He was released on bond today and another hearing is set for December 7. District Attorney John Zakowski said there isn’t enough information to file a criminal complaint at this time.
So what changed? Walden’s girlfriend said the linebacker was merely defending himself.
According to [Zakowski], she said she hit Walden first and that he was defending himself. The accuser, Walden’s live-in girlfriend, received four stitches to her forehead at a hospital after hitting her head on the bedpost and also injured her thumb, he said.
“The question is really, who is the primary physical aggressor,” Zakowski said to reporters afterward. “If this is a case where it’s an argument where she struck him and he pushed her away, there’s no charge. If it’s a case where they’re arguing and he pushes her, initiates the contact and that causes injury then it’s a different situation. That’s what we have to try to piece together from these varying statements that were given to law enforcement as well as to the hospital.”
The initial story implied Walden initiated contact.
The argument reportedly stems from Walden’s decision to leave town on Friday after returning from Detroit, where the Packers played the Lions on Thursday. Walden was planning to go to his home state of Georgia.
“She didn’t want him to leave and then it led to this verbal disagreement and at some place there was a push,” Zakowski said. “The question is, ‘Did she strike him first? Is this when she injured her thumb?’ If she struck him first and he pushed her back, that’s not a case we will issue charges on. That’s what we have to determine, if that really took place. Even if it didn’t happen that way, can we prove what took place?”
Walden is forbidden from having contact with his girlfriend by the court. It appears he’ll be able to play this week when the Packers meet the Giants.