Browns running back Trent Richardson, in the news lately as an example of how not to run, has been named in a lawsuit, along with his girlfriend and brother, by two women claiming that Richardson commanded three other women, his girlfriend among them, to assault them for disrespecting his home after they slammed a door too loud.
On the night after the Browns' Dec. 9 home win against the Chiefs, Richardson, with his girlfriend Sevina Fatu and his brother Terrell, went to the Cleveland-area nightclub Rumors, where they met Kathleen Hunter and Krystal Jones. They adjourned to Richardson's house, where they met up with the other defendants, and things allegedly turned sour almost immediately. From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Once inside the home, Trent Richardson asked the two women to leave, but as they were leaving, [attorney Leif B.] Christman said Richardson became enraged, cursing the two women for "slamming a door" and "disrespecting his house," according to the complaint.
The complaint accuses Richardson of slamming his fist onto the hood of Jones' vehicle, denting the hood and causing $1,500 in damage.
It also accuses Richardson of orchestrating a physical assault on the two women, naming his girlfriend Sevina Fatu of Columbia Station and two other yet unnamed women as the assailants.
The Plain Dealer published the full text of the suit. "Orchestrating a physical assault" is a confusing charge at first, but it sounds about right after reading the play-by-play [all sic'd]:
"Defendant Trent Richardson then stood behind Plaintiffs vehicle preventing them from backing up and called for Defendant Sevina Fate. to come out and attack Plaintiffs. Defendants, Sevina Fatu; Doe Jane Doe #2 and Defendant Terrell Richardson exited the house and came out to the driveway.
Defendant, Trent Richardson shouted curses, and commands, insisting that Defendant Sevina Fatu, come out of the house and physically assault the Plaintiffs in retribution for "disrespecting" Richardson's house.
Acting on Defendant Trent Richardson's urging, and obeying his commands, Defendant Sevina Fate opened the driver's door and began pummeling Plaintiff Kathleen Hunter with her fists as Plaintiff Hunter sat in the drivers seat.
Acting on Defendant Trent Richardson's urging and obeying his commands, Defendant, Sevina Fatu struck Plaintiff Kathleen Hunter numerous times on her face and then pulled Plaintiff Kathleen Hunter out of the vehicle by her hair.
Defendant, Sevina Fatu joined by Defendants Jane "Doe #l and Jane Doe #2 continued to beat and pummel Plaintiff Hunter with their fists and feet at the urging of and obeying the commands of Defendant Trent Richardson who urged them and instructed them to do so. Defendant, Trent Richardson and Defendant, Terrell Richardson by their physical presence, their actions and their Verbalized 'urging, lent support and encouragement to Defendants Fatu, Jane Doe #1 and Jane Doe #2 and placed Plaintiff Kathleen Hunter in fear that these large, and formidable "men would injure her as well.
More of the same follows regarding the assault on Jones. Though the filing does mention that police were called, neither it nor the Plain Dealer's accompanying article explains why this case isn't in criminal court when the actions described clearly violate a number of laws, or why these allegations surfaced more than three months after the assaults. For those reasons, the honors society law students on Twitter and in the Plain Dealer's comments section mostly think that Richardson's accusers have a tough road to winning their case, but we'll withhold judgment. It's not yet clear if or when Richardson should expect to see inside of a courtroom.