Hours before Tim McGraw appeared on the Country Weekly Presents the TNN Awards, his attorney, Tom Eoannou, and his manager, Scott Siman met with the press to issue McGraw’s first statement regarding his June 3 arrest in Buffalo, N.Y. The arrest followed an incident that also involved singer Kenny Chesney. Both were in Buffalo as part of the George Strait Festival Tour. McGraw was preparing for tonight’s TNN telecast and did not attend the press conference. His statement reads:
“I want to thank all of my fans who have called, sent cards, letters and emails in support of me. Although many people have made light of the incident, I consider this a very serious matter, and I want to use this statement as a way of setting the record straight.
“I was just coming off the stage in Buffalo when I saw a police car burst into the private artist area going incredibly fast. My first thought was for the safety of my children who were playing there. I saw two officers leap from their car and run towards Kenny, who was riding a horse. Kenny raised his hands as if he were surrendering, yelling he had permission to ride the horse, when they reached up and began to rip him from the horse. Fearing for Kenny’s safety, I ran over to offer assistance. At no time did I ever throw any punches or put anyone in anything remotely resembling a choke hold. One of the officers pulled his nightstick and hit me at least three times on my leg. The other officer kept saying this was all a misunderstanding.
“I want to thank the many eye witnesses who have come forward to say that Kenny had permission to be on the horse. I am confident that once the district attorney has had the chance to fully investigate, all the charges will be dropped and justice done. If it’s necessary, then I welcome the opportunity to go before a jury who I know will agree neither Kenny or I did anything wrong.”
McGraw and Chesney have entered not-guilty pleas to the charges leveled against them. McGraw has been charged with second-degree assault on a law officer, while Chesney has been cited for disorderly conduct.