The image of NFL superstar and Holy Angels alum Larry Fitzgerald Jr. took another hit after the mother of his baby claimed he knocked her around and pulled out her hair.
This is more than a he-said-she-said situation. There are witnesses, according documents attached to the order of protection issued by a Coconino Superior Court judge in Arizona.
TMZ reported that Angela Nazario filed legal papers against Jr. in Arizona about an October incident at the home of the star wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals. TMZ, however, inaccurately reported that the Fitzgerald has been ordered to stay away from their 11-month-old child, Devin.
Nazario's Arizona attorney Louis Diesel confirmed to me Wednesday that an order of protection was filed against the NFL star. Diesel referred me to the new court documents added to the paternity court case that began when Nazario took Jr. to court in 2007 to establish paternity for the baby born in 2008.
According to Nazario's statement, she and Devin were having an uneventful two-day overnight visit at Jr.'s Phoenix home Oct. 26 and 27, before the situation became tense. Based on the statement, I would say that resentment was brewing between Nazario and Jr. because she was doing most of the commuting by bringing Devin to his daddy in Phoeniz, as opposed to Fitzgerald making the two-hour drive to see his child.
"Larry had sent his personal driver (Jag) to drive us from Flagstaff to Phoenix," reads Nazario's narrative. They were sitting around discussing the best way for Truluck (a singer known as R-Kal Truluck) to get the mother of Truluck's 9-month-old daughter to allow him to take the baby out of town to meet family. She remarked she wouldn't allow this with her child because she didn't trust Jr. "[Larry] left the room for a while and apparently [was] bothered by my answer," Nazarios wrote.
After Truluck left, Nazario and Jr. had a unsatisfying conversation and she was ready to leave early, according to court documents. When she called Jag to ask that she and the baby be picked up two hours sooner than planned, Nazario's statement claims, "Larry said to me, 'You think you can just call Jag like that? He isn't coming for you. Today is my day with Devin so you can find your own way home...'"
Nazario called her friend My-lihn French to come pick them up. "I was there about 30 [minutes] before the 'fight' began," reads French's statement. "... I was afraid for Angie. He looked as if he didn't see me sitting there, glaring 'through' me. ... He wouldn't leave, he grabbed Angie's arms and pushed her on the ground forcefully... he grabbed her head with both hands like a football and forcefully threw her across the room. I was in shock and in awe to see Larry get this way. I've never seen this behavior from him... When she reached for Devin, Larry pushed her away -- a few times this happened..."
Nazario's statement also contains mentions of "trying to shake him up by hitting his shoulders" to get a response, and this: Jr. was playfully trying to diffuse the situation by putting up his fist and saying, "Come on, let's fight." Nazario said, "I believe I may have hit his face."
Nazario's statement also claimed that "Larry's assistant (Shawn)" was around that day. It will be interesting to read a statement from Larry's assistant.
According to information from another source, who does not want to be quoted in the media about a matter that looks headed for a courtroom trial, there is an explanation for the lapse in time between the alleged incident and its coming to the attention of media. For weeks the parties have been in negotiations. They were trying to hash out a visitation schedule for Devin, and Jr. was also reportedly seeking to seal the files on Nazario's allegations regarding the October incident. After failing to come to a visitation agreement, Nazario had Jr. served this week with legal papers on the October incident.
Sportsbybrooks.com said there were three signs that the relationship between Jr. and Nazario might not run smoothly. No. 1: You're a professional athlete and she's a cheerleader. No. 2: She forces you to take a paternity test before she has even given birth. No. 3: You're accused of pulling out her hair and slamming her head against a marble floor.
A Wednesday call to the Arizona Cardinals seeking a comment from Jr. has not been answered.
My relationship with Larry Fitzgerald Sr. has not been the same since I was the first to report that the paternity test established Jr. as Devin's daddy. But Big Fitz had never even raised his hand to me, irritated as he is by my addressing him as Grandpa. When I telephoned Big Fitz for a comment, he hung up as soon as I said his given name.
C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or email@example.com. E-mailers, please state a subject -- "Hello" doesn't count. Attachments are not opened, so don't even try. More of her attitude can be seen on FOX 9 Thursday mornings.