NASHVILLE, Tenn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Nashville police are investigating a misdemeanor assault complaint made by a man who says former Jets and Bills head coach Rex Ryan grabbed him by the neck.
Police spokesman Don Aaron said that Matthew Havel, a 30-year-old from Pueblo, Colorado, made the complaint Sunday night.
Havel told police that he saw the Ryan brothers — Rex and former NFL defensive coordinator Rob Ryan — at the Margaritaville restaurant in downtown Nashville near Bridgestone Arena. Aaron said Havel indicated he went up to the Ryans’ table and was there for over an hour before Rex Ryan “reached across and grabbed at his neck.”
Havel told police the incident was unprovoked.
He echoed those comments in an interview with Bleacher Report.
“We didn’t say anything like, ‘You guys are bad coaches.’ We were sitting there for an hour, hour-and-a-half, talking,” Havel said.
“All of a sudden, they were coming at me in a blur,” he added. “It happened so quick.”
A source, however, told Bleacher Report that Rex Ryan was growing annoyed with “heckling from uninvited guests.”
Video of the incident went viral on the internet. It shows Pavel shoving Rex Ryan. Rob Ryan then briefly wraps his left hand around the man’s neck before Pavel pushes the arm away. It’s not clear what happened in the seconds before the video begins.
Aaron said no arrests have been made and no charges are presently outstanding.
Rex Ryan is a longtime Nashville Predators ticket holder who has been seen at many of their playoff games, including one of their second-round road matchups in St. Louis. He also was shown Saturday smashing a Pittsburgh Penguins car for charity in front of Bridgestone Arena while Rob looked on before the Predators’ Game 3 victory in the Stanley Cup Final.
Rex Ryan coached the Jets from 2009-14 and the Bills from 2015-16 before being fired in December. Rob Ryan has been a defensive coordinator for several NFL teams and was on his brother’s staff in Buffalo last year.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)