UPDATE: Police report details events leading to Michael Haywood arrest

By: Angelo Di Carlo and Kevin Lewis Email
By: Angelo Di Carlo and Kevin Lewis Email

Former Irish assistant coach Mike Haywood was arraigned Monday afternoon before Superior Court Magistrate Brian Steinke on a Class D felony charge of domestic battery in the presence of a minor. The charges stem from a domestic altercation between Haywood and a woman he shares a child with. It happened Friday afternoon at his Northwood Hills residence in northwestern St. Joseph County.

During the ten minute arraignment, Steinke advised Haywood of his rights and entered a "not guilty" plea on his behalf before setting his next court date for Jan. 11 at 8 a.m. Superior Court Judge Jane Woodward Miller will preside over that hearing.

Haywood was joined by family members, one donning a Miami University of Ohio baseball cap and wiping tears from his face after leaving the courthouse.

South Bend-based attorney Andre Gammage is representing Haywood. Both Haywood and Gammage refused to make a comment to the media while entering or leaving the courthouse. Gammage is one of South Bend’s headline criminal defense attorneys, most well known for defending Jeff Pelley during his quadruple murder trial.

St. Joseph County Police say Haywood was arrested around 4 p.m. Friday at his home on Hawthorne Meadow Drive. A home that sources say Haywood built back in 2005, but put on the market in March of 2010. The 3100 square foot home is currently listed for $540,000. Haywood’s listing office, At Home Realty Group, has a number of interior pictures of the home. One photo shows the home’s office with a handful of footballs resting atop a desk. Other photos show Haywood’s son’s nursery and an over-sized family room.

The following information is based on an official police report describing the alleged battery. It was released in its entirety to NewsCenter 16 Monday afternoon.

The statement begins by describing a custody battle Haywood and the female victim were in over their 21 month old son. The victim had expected Haywood to return from a trip to Texas Thursday night in hopes the three would be able to spend time together during the holiday weekend. When he never arrived, the victim assumed Haywood had been cheating on her. Since Haywood had given the home key to a handful of people, the victim admitted to barricading the front door.

Haywood told investigators he came home Thursday night and was locked out. After calling the victim and getting her voicemail, Haywood said he booked a room at a local hotel.

The report picks up Friday afternoon when Haywood reportedly returned to the home, but was still locked out. After calling his listing agent and determining the locks had not been changed, Haywood kicked down the home’s front door. Inside, he found both the female and their son in the home’s basement where an argument ensued.

The document says the female took the child upstairs where Haywood soon found the woman and boy getting ready to leave in his personal vehicle. In effort to stop the female, Haywood allegedly put the woman in a “choke hold”, wrapping his arm around her neck and thrusting her backwards, where she fell into a wheelbarrow. The woman told police she was in pain and had felt something pop in her neck when thrown. Police also found red marks on the victim’s neck, chest and face, a small mark on her back and redness on her right arm.

In his defense, Haywood told police he touched the woman, but in a less violent way and in attempt to keep her from taking the child. Haywood told investigators when he tried to pull his son from the car, the woman attempted to stop him by holding his shirt. Haywood admitted to pushing her away and accidentally making her fall to the ground. Haywood also told police the victim often gets red marks when she’s upset and that the marks observed by officers were not from physical violence.

The report continues by saying Haywood took the child back inside his home where he called his attorney. Meanwhile, the victim called 911.

After police arrived, they arrested Haywood citing the victim’s marks and injuries were more consistent with the story she told officers. Officers also arrested Haywood because the entire incident occurred in plain view of their young son.

Following his arrest, the University of Pittsburgh fired Haywood just two weeks after being hired as its head football coach.

Haywood bonded out of St. Joseph County jail Saturday, nearly 24 hours after his arrest.

"The things that are in that police report are inaccurate," Haywood told NewsCenter 16 in a phone interview just after his release Saturday afternoon before being fired. "We'll find out what the truth is in due time."

But Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg did not wait for that information to come out, firing Haywood within 26 hours of his arrest.

“To be clear, the University’s decision is not tied to any expectation with respect to the terms on which the legal proceeding now pending in Indiana might ultimately be concluded," Nordenberg said in a statement to the media. "Instead, it reflects a strong belief that moving forward with Mr. Haywood as our head coach is not possible under the existing circumstances.

“This is a matter of real regret for the many people at Pitt who had looked forward to working with him," Nordenberg continued. "However, head coaches are among the University’s most visible representatives and are expected to maintain high standards of personal conduct and to avoid situations that might reflect negatively on the University."

Haywood was originally charged with a Class A Misdemeanor, which has no bond, but the prosecutor upgraded the charge to a felony Saturday. That comes with a $1,000 bond, which Haywood posted.

Haywood was a wide receiver and cornerback for Notre Dame in the 80's. He joined Charlie Weis' staff in 2005 and eventually became the Irish offensive coordinator.

He left Notre Dame following the 2008 season to become head coach at Miami (Ohio). This year, Haywood led the Redhawks to a MAC Championship.

He was named head coach of Pitt two weeks ago, replacing Dave Wannstedt.

Pitt plays its bowl game on Jan. 8. Haywood was never scheduled to coach the Panthers in that game.

Pitt says it will re-open its search to hire a new coach "swiftly but prudently."

To read the entire Haywood probable cause statement and police report, click the link below the headline and above the text of this story.

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