Texas suspends trainer Chris Beard after being arrested for assault over alleged strangulation of a family member

Texas men’s basketball coach Chris Beard was arrested early Monday morning allegedly strangled his fiancee in her home. Beard, 49, was booked with the Travis County Sheriff’s Office at 4:18 a.m. CT, according to police files, on charges of third-degree assault.

Police responded to a 9-1-1 call “Hot Shot Disorder,” defined as “incidents that are ongoing and pose an imminent threat to life and/or public safety (e.g., shootings, stabbings, rape, riots). These calls are sent immediately.”

The Austin Police Department issued this news release Monday afternoon regarding Beard’s arrest: “At 12 Vista Lane. The caller reported that the disturbance had stopped and one of the people had left the house. APD officers responded and located a woman who said she was attacked and strangled by Christopher Michael Beard. Beard was sent to the Travis County Jail. He is charged with assault by strangulation/asphyxia – domestic violence, a third-degree felony.”

Texas suspended Beard indefinitely and without pay Monday night.

“The university takes seriously matters of interpersonal violence involving members of its community,” the school said in a statement. “Based on the information available, the university has suspended Chris Beard from his position as head coach of men’s basketball and will withhold his pay until further notice. Associate head coach Rodney Terry will serve as assistant head coach for tonight’s game against Rice.”

Beard, who is no longer in police custody, went before an Austin City Court judge Monday afternoon and had his bail set at $10,000, according to official court records. There is a protection order until at least February 10, 2023, whose terms bar Beard from being within 200 yards of his fiancé and the home where the 9-1-1 call was made. Beard is also currently not allowed to carry a firearm. In addition, while Beard is permitted to communicate with the Complainant on the case, he is strictly prohibited from doing so under any form of threat or intimidation.

Late Monday, several media outlets obtained the affidavit for Beard’s arrest. According to the arrest report, revealed below, Beard’s fiancée told police Beard “choked me, threw me out of bed, bit me, bruised my whole leg, threw me around and drove me crazy.”

She also told police she “just didn’t feel safe”.

“While Christopher was at the scene, he was questioned and stated that he had audio recordings of the incident in which he was not the primary aggressor,” the report reads. “According to Christopher’s testimony, he was asked if he would be willing to share these audio recordings, to which he said no.”

Officers also noted visible bite marks, abrasions, and cuts.

Beard’s attorney made the following statement to local media on Monday morning. In it, the attorney alleges that the applicant wanted to drop the charges against Beard.

Texas poached Beard from Big 12 rival Texas Tech in 2021. With the Red Raiders and during his brief stint at Little Rock, Beard shot into the upper echelons of the coaching ranks as one of the sport’s rising stars. Beard went 30-5 in one season at Little Rock and advanced to the NCAA tournament before spending five seasons at Texas Tech, where he went 112-55 and fought for the 2019 national championship.

A former Longhorns team manager under Tom Penders, Beard got off to a flying start at his alma mater. Texas reached the NCAA tournament, winning 22 games in its freshman season. Texas is 7-1 to start the 2022-23 campaign after climbing to No. 2 in the AP Top 25.

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