CLEVELAND (AP) -Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najeh Davenport was acquitted of a misdemeanor domestic violence charge Wednesday in Cleveland Municipal Court.
Davenport had been accused of slapping and punching Anita Person, the mother of his 5-year-old son at her Cleveland home in October. He was also acquitted misdemeanor child endangering and unlawful restraint.
``I never kicked her, hit her ... punched her or slapped her, she's making that up,'' he told jurors.
He said Person jumped in his vehicle and grabbed the child as he drove off and he eventually stopped and they got on a tug-o-war with the boy.
City prosecutors said Davenport slammed Person to the ground, hit her and tried to choke her after he drove from Pittsburgh to Cleveland on Oct. 4 to pick up his son for a weekend visit. They said Davenport told Person that she would never see her son again.
Person said Davenport drove off as she unbuckled the boy's seat belt and then slapped and choked her and slammed her to the ground while she held the boy.
She said Davenport had physically abused her on several occasions, at times more severely. She testified against him at the trial.
Davenport's attorney, Patrick D'Angelo, said photos showed Person had no marks on her face and neck.
Davenport has claimed Person became upset over his plans to seek custody, climbed into the back seat of his moving car, kneeled on his 2-year-old son and grabbed the 5-year-old, then scratched Davenport's face outside the car.
The 5-year-old suffered a swollen lip.
If convicted, Davenport could have faced a jail sentence of 14 months and a suspension from the NFL.

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