Jonathan Fanene, a defensive end who spent seven seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, has gotten himself in a world of trouble as he now faces eight felonies, including assault and kidnapping, and five misdemeanors stemming from what police are describing as a horrific attack on his wife and sister in his native American Samoa.
He reportedly used a pipe, golf club and broom handle to assault his wife and his sister over allegations he had an extramarital affair while on a trip to Hawaii.
“The incident is alleged to have occurred May 26 and been witnessed by the couple’s 9-year-old son, who told police his father told him to grab “the bat,” according to court documents. When the boy couldn’t find one, he brought a pipe, golf club and broom handle.
The son then saw his father “use these objects to assault” his mother and aunt, the affidavit says.
“He beat them as hard as he can. … My mom told him to stop, in a crying way,” the son is quoted in the affidavit, telling a police investigator.
Police said the wife suffered multiple contusions covering an area from her shoulders to ankles on one side of her body. She also sustained injuries to her buttocks, the upper portion of both arms and her lips, court documents say.
His wife filed a criminal complaint against Fanene on May 29. She allegedly told police that she was informed by her sister-in-law that Fanene was seen in Hawaii with another woman and that Fanene had a “hickey” on his neck.
The wife told Fanene about what his sister had said, and Fanene “flew into a rage and proceed to assault his sister with his hands,” inside the couple home, the affidavit alleges.
The wife told police that she tried to “run for the door” but Fanene “threw a chair at her, he then grabbed her and dragged her (back) into the house,” the affidavit further alleges, noting that Fanene “then instructed their 9 year old son to grab “the bat”, but the (son) brought back a wooden stick.”
Fanene then “used these objects to assault her and her sister-in-law,” according to the wife’s statement to police cited in the affidavit.
The wife said she tried numerous times to get away from her husband, but he would catch her and beat her up.
“At one point during the course of the physical onslaught, she got up on the couch to distance herself from him, but he assaulted her with the pipe,” the affidavit says. The affidavit adds that the wife was finally able to grab and remove the pipe and stick from her husband, but “he grabbed a commercial grade extension cord, wound it around his hand, and proceed to whip her and her sister-in-law with it.”
The wife told police that Fanene “would physically assault her and his sister; stop the assault — as though he was ‘taking a break’ — and would lecture them, only to resume the physical onslaught again,” the affidavit says.
The wife also told police that at one time Fanene “hit her so hard that she ‘blacked-out’ momentarily and when opened her eyes, she heard someone gasping for air only to realize moments later it was her.”
She told police that she “thought he was going to kill her right there and then.”
The affidavit outlined other alleged incidents of assaults dating far back as 2009.
The Associated Press reports Fanene was released on $100,000 bail and will appear in court next week.
The 37-year-old was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the seventh round of the 2005 NFL Draft. He played college football at College of the Canyons and Utah.