Chargers defensive back Antonio Cromartie may face misdemeanor charges for hitting someone in the head with a champagne bottle at a bar.
Officers answered a report of a fight at Bar West in Pacific Beach shortly before 1:30 a.m. on Nov. 21, hours after the Chargers beat the Denver Broncos 32-3.( Mon Nov 23 21:20:24 PST 2009 $__output )
Cromartie was named by police as a suspect in the case. Police investigators cite conflicting witness reports as the main reason they will turn over the investigation to the City Attorney's office Tuesday and let prosecutors decide on charges.
It's being investigated as a 245(a)1, Assault w/ a Deadly Weapon, according to police spokesperson Gary Hassen. That charge is considered a "wobbler", which means it can go either misdemeanor or felony. In this case it will be a misdemeanor.
After the attack, witness Gary Ratavossi, who was at Bar West for the first time, described what happened inside the club when the champagne fight started.
"I guess four of the San Diego Charger players ... they grabbed their bottles, literally lined up in a row, kind of like a gunfire position, and just took aim at that side of the table, and just started shaking the bottles and spraying them," Ratavossi said.
Things quickly turned from bad to worse, however.
"I guess one of the Chargers literally held the bottle in his hand, stepped up to one of the members in our group and struck him in the head with a champagne bottle," Ratavossi said. "The bottle then cracked, and there was glass everywhere, pandemonium, people were like, 'Oh, my God!' And his head was bleeding profusely. There was just blood everywhere: his shirt, the floor."
Ratavossi didn't know the attacker's name but said he told police what he knew.
"Honestly, I didn't recognize him, but I described him, what he was wearing to the police," Ratavossi said. "They said they had surveillance cameras and tape."
Cromartie was not arrested by police. A 24-year-old San Diego man suffered minor injuries.
Police have not released the identifies of any other players who were at Bar West that night. The San Diego Union Tribune spoke with linebacker Stephen Cooper and defensive lineman Travis Johnson who both described what they saw that night.
"There was no fight inside the club," Cooper told the paper. "All I know is I was having a great time."
"Cro didn't leave from where we were standing," Johnson said to the UT. "I don't know what happened. All I know is Cro didn't have anything to do with it."
The Monday after the fight, Cromartie posted a message on Twitter. "I want to apologize to charger nation and my fans," wrote Cromartie, whose Twitter user name is crimetime31. "There's sum stuff out abt me that's not true. It will come out. God Bless."