Good Cop, Bad Cop?
The country superstar was charged with second-degree assault, obstructing governmental administrations, menacing and resisting arrest on June 3 after an altercation with deputies attempting to get fellow singer Kenny Chesney off a mounted patrol horse. The incident occurred in a backstage parking area at Ralph Wilson Stadium near Buffalo, N.Y., where the two singers were performing on the George Strait Country Music Festival.
In a statement released by McGraw June 15 titled “The Facts,” he thanked his fans for supporting him, and lashed out at deputies and unnamed public officials.
The statement cites “many inaccuracies and misstatements surrounding the incident in Buffalo, N.Y., and the continued publicity being sought by certain officials in regard to this matter.”
After thanking his fans for supporting him, McGraw gave a detailed account of his version of events:
“I was just coming off the stage in Buffalo when I saw a police car burst into the private artist area going incredibly fast. My first thought was for the safety of my children who were playing there. I saw two officers leap from their car and run towards Kenny, who was riding a horse.
“Kenny raised his hands as if he were surrendering, yelling he had permission to ride the horse, when they reached up and began to rip him from the horse. Fearing for Kenny’s safety, I ran over to offer assistance. At no time did I ever throw any punches or put anyone in anything remotely resembling a choke hold.
“One of the officers pulled his nightstick and hit me at least three times on my leg. The other officer kept saying this was all a misunderstanding,” McGraw stated.
Chesney has maintained he was given permission by the daughter of sheriff’s department Capt. James Coyle to sit on her father’s mounted division horse. Officers on the scene reported Chesney then allegedly rode off and refused orders to stop.
Both sides agree that McGraw became involved when officers attempted to get Chesney off the horse.
McGraw said he takes the charges very seriously, and expects to be exonerated.
“I am confident that once the district attorney has had the chance to fully investigate, all the charges will be dropped and justice done,” McGraw said.
“If it’s necessary, then I welcome the opportunity to go before a jury who I know will agree neither Kenny or I did anything wrong.”