Napa County district attorney Gary Lieberstein said Thursday that the investigation concluded no charges were warranted.
“Our duty is to do the right thing for the right reasons,” Lieberstein said. “Under the facts and circumstances of this case, it would be a miscarriage of justice to pursue criminal charges and we will not ask our citizens to give up their valuable time for jury duty, nor will we allow our criminal justice system to be compromised.”
Cable has denied the charges from the beginning and said shortly before the district attorney’s announcement that he trusted in the legal system.
“The Raider organization waited patiently for a comprehensive legal process to conclude and now this matter has been resolved,” Raiders spokesman Mike Taylor said. “Our focus has been and remains on the New York Jets.”
The alleged attack occurred at the team’s training camp hotel on Aug. 5 in Napa, after Cable called Randy Hanson into a meeting with defensive coordinator John Marshall and defensive backs coaches Lionel Washington and Willie Brown.
Hanson told Yahoo! Sports earlier this month that Cable came up from behind him and knocked him out of his chair. Hanson said he broke his jaw and cracked two teeth after hitting a table. Hanson also alleged that Cable threatened to kill him before the other coaches pulled him away.
Lieberstein said it was his belief that there was not enough evidence for a jury to convict Cable of any offenses beyond a reasonable doubt.
Lieberstein said interviews with witnesses established that Cable did not punch Hanson or make any verbal threats. He said the evidence showed that Cable became angry and rushed toward Hanson, but one of the assistants stepped between the coaches. Cable ran into the other assistant, who bumped into Hanson and knocked him out of his chair. The witnesses also told authorities that Cable then grabbed Hanson by the shirt but never struck or threatened him.
Lieberstein also said that because Hanson did not file a police report at the time of the alleged incident, police were unable to search the hotel room for any physical evidence that might have corroborated Hanson’s story. He said Hanson did not talk to the police until the end of September, which delayed the case.
“It should be further noted that within the past week and a half, Mr. Hanson showed up unannounced at the police department and made a statement to the effect that since the Raiders had not given him what he asked for, he would now fully cooperate with the prosecution,” Lieberstein said.
Lieberstein said there were inconsistencies in what Hanson told the police and what he said in media interviews. He said those were not cleared up in a follow-up interview on Wednesday.
The NFL is already monitoring the case to determine if Cable violated the league’s personal conduct policy. According to the policy, a coach or player can be disciplined for “violent or threatening behavior among employees, whether in or outside the workplace.”
Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league wanted to let the criminal process proceed before getting involved. Goodell said criminal charges need not be brought against Cable for the NFL to discipline him if he broke the league’s conduct rules.
An NFL spokesman said: “We will review the decision announced earlier today by the Napa District Attorney and the facts developed in the underlying investigation. Following that review, we will take appropriate action, if any, under our policies.”
Cable has said the pending case was not a distraction to his coaching, and the players said before Thursday’s announcement that it has not been an issue around the team.
“You would think that would be a bigger thing,” defensive end Jay Richardson said. “But it hasn’t been at all. No one’s talked about it. He hasn’t talked about it. We haven’t talked about it. … We’ve got so much on our plate this year, and we’ve got enough to worry about right now.”
Hanson was one of the assistants hired for this year’s staff before Cable had even gotten the job as head coach. Cable took over as interim coach last season when Lane Kiffin was fired after four games and reportedly tried to get rid of Hanson then, but owner Al Davis overruled him. Davis brought Hanson back on this season’s staff a few weeks before announcing that Cable was hired as coach.
Hanson was also a key player in the dispute that helped lead to Kiffin’s firing. Kiffin suspended Hanson after the assistant criticized the coaching staff in a meeting following a 41-14 season-opening loss to Denver. Davis later reinstated Hanson and Kiffin was fired a few weeks later.