Could child abuse charges derail the career of another sports superstar?
On the morning we are learning that Adrian Peterson has been suspended by the NFL for the rest of the season without pay for beating his four year old son with a twitch, there is also a report that the Cobb County Police Department in Georgia has opened an active criminal investigation into allegations Dwight Howard badly beat his 6-year-old son Braylon with a belt buckle.
According to TMZ, earlier this year Cobb County had forwarded their Howard abuse files to the Dept. of Children and Families in Florida (The Rockets center lives in Florida) to investigate. The DFC found the allegations credible, and their doctor found the injuries Braylon suffered after Howard admitted to hitting him with a belt to be "consistent with a medical diagnosis of physical abuse." Yet they didn't have enough overall evidence to move forward with charges.
When Cobb County -- where the incident took place -- heard the DFC was dropping the case, they decided to reopen it in their jurisdiction.
"People who were not so forthcoming before today [Monday] have been," A Georgia law enforcement official told TMZ. He added that the case "has now been raised to top of the list."
In response to this development, Howard's lawyer lashed at Howard's baby mama Royce Reed, who he says is "using her son as a pawn against his father in an attempt to extract money."
During the Florida investigation, Howard admitted he hit the boy with a belt because he had been disciplined that way growing up.