Another day, another ESPN personality in trouble with the law. This time, it's hockey analyst Matthew Barnaby, who was arrested tonight on charges of domestic violence in a story that is just breaking within the hour. Barnaby has been an ESPN hockey analyst since 2008 and one of the few hockey analysts actually visible across the ESPN family of networks. Here's some details in a report by WIVB in Buffalo...
Former Buffalo Sabre Matthew Barnaby was arrested Friday night, charged with domestic violence.
Amherst Police responded to a location at 6:15 p.m. and found serious damage to property. The location is being kept private to protect two female victims, who police say were not injured.
The former right winger was arrested and charged with second degree criminal contempt, harassment, second degree criminal trespass, and second degree criminal mischief. Police say after leaving the location, he made angry phone calls, and Barnaby has also been charged with aggravated harassment via a cell phone.
For the record, Barnaby had been romantically linked with fellow ESPNer Michelle Beadle in prior months. In fact, Beadle confirmed to the Big Lead in March that the pair had been dating since Fall 2010. As the WIVB report makes clear, details are non-existent to protect two unnamed female victims and it's not fair to speculate on any more information until more facts are available. ESPN has never been the most forthright entity in terms of their discipline of on-air personalities, but needless to say this report does not look good for Barnaby and you would expect the network to act swiftly. We'll have more details as the story develops.
***Update - For what it's worth, The Big Lead is reporting that Beadle is not involved in this story. It is the same site that also confirmed Beadle's relationship with Barnaby from her directly.
***Update II (Saturday Afternoon) - Buffalo News has more details on Barnaby's arrest and more information regarding the case on the day after the story broke...
Former Buffalo Sabres player Matthew Barnaby pleaded not guilty today in Amherst Town Court to five charges, including one felony, following a Friday evening domestic incident involving his estranged wife and another adult...
Barnaby faces charges of felony criminal mischief, criminal contempt, criminal trespass, harassment and aggravated harassment. The most serious charge, felony criminal mischief, carries a possible prison term of up to four years in jail, if he were convicted.
ESPN's report on Barnaby pleading not guilty to the charges includes their original comment from Friday night - "We just learned of this so it would be inappropriate for us to comment."