Johnny Manziel was at the center of a “riot” involving as many as 20 men where a man claiming to be one of the Cleveland Browns’ rookie quarterback’s biggest fans was allegedly beaten and pummeled by his entourage.
According to Cleve.com, Manziel and his crew where spotted at a downtown high-rise where many athletes are known to reside just before 3 a.m. Friday when Chris Gonos alleges he and his girlfriend approached Manziel . As he walked closer, Gonos further allege he said to Manziel “I’m the Browns biggest fan ever, I love you, I want to give you a hug.”
Instead, the 33-year Sandusky resident claims he was “punched in the face” leaving him with a “swollen lip, right eye swollen and red face.”
Gonos later told reporters “I noticed the guy. I was like, ‘Man, that’s Johnny Manziel.’ They were trying to keep it quiet, keep it low, and I was like ‘Johnny Football!’ I was just excited. I went to give him like a handshake, or dap or whatever you want to call it, one of his buddies like tackled me. It was going down, a whole bunch of people started fighting.”
Gonos later claimed “my brother saw what was going on and he ran he tackled Johnny Manziel. I was by myself and Johnny Manziel and like three or four of his buddies were all coming at me. My brother just came to help me out, and I guess Johnny sucker punched him while the security guard was holding him. It should be all on video.”
“I know somebody else in the group smashed Johnny right in the face. Smashed him, smashed him. I watched the whole game to see if we could spot him on the sidelines.”
Cleveland Browns GM Ray Farmer has since released a statement reading “we are aware of the incident and are in the process of gathering additional information in order to gain a complete understanding of what occurred. Nonetheless, the time of the incident is concerning to us. We continually stress to all of our players the importance of sound decision making in an effort to avoid putting themselves in these types of situations. We have addressed this appropriately with the player and will have no further comment at this time.”
Several media outlets have also since reported Gonos plead guilty in federal court last year to “conspiracy to structure financial transactions to evade filing currency transaction reports.”[Photo Credit: Erik Daniel Drost]
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