Ex-Colt Joe Staysniak Arrested and Charged with Battery of Son and Choking Son’s Boyfriend

Former Indianapolis Colts lineman and radio personality Joseph “Joe” Staysniak was arrested Tuesday after a domestic incident in which he was accused of assaulting his son and choking his son’s boyfriend, according to reports.

Staysniak, 56, was arrested by deputies and booked at 1:43 AM, according to online Hendricks County Jail records. He was charged with strangulation and battery, and released on his own recognizance later that day.

Joseph “Joe” Staysniak was arrested, accused of assaulting his son and choking his son’s boyfriend, according to reports. (Photo: Getty Images)

What Caused Staysniak to Allegedly Assault His Son?

Police were called to Staysniak’s home Monday night just before midnight, according to a probable cause affidavit detailing his arrest. Court records indicate a neighbor saw Staysniak’s son and boyfriend inside a vehicle in front of the property. The older Staysniak opened the rear passenger door, and grabbed the boyfriend by the hood while trying to remove him from the Jeep and began to choke him. Staysniak’s son and the friend — both over the age of 18 — told deputies they were punched.

An officer who spoke with the son observed dried blood and cuts on his lower lip, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit also states that Joe Staysniak flashed a gun during the altercation.

Joe Staysniak told police that a neighbor had called to tell him there was a suspicious car in the front yard and that he went to investigate. When he approached, he saw who was inside and allegedly told the boyfriend he could never return to his property.

Joe Staysniak denied hitting his son’s boyfriend or brandishing a firearm at either man. He said his son came at him and he shoved him back with an open hand and the two got into a tussle. He said his wife had to separate them.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges. A pretrial conference is scheduled for April 10 and a jury trial for April 25.

Who Is Joe Staysniak?

Staysniak was drafted in the seventh round by the San Diego Chargers in 1990. He played for the Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, Colts and the Arizona Cardinals during his career. He started all 16 games for the Colts during the 1994 and 1995 NFL seasons and was a member of the 1995 Colts team that advanced to the AFC championship.

For more than two decades Staysniak worked for Emmis Communications, starting at WIBC, and co-hosted “The Fan Morning Show” before leaving in 2021. In June 2020, he was suspended one week without pay after saying on air that Black people need to stop being victims, kneeling in front of the American flag is treason and the Confederate flag is not racist. He further said he found it hard to believe Black people are targeted by police.  

The comments were in response to protests over the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

The motivations for Staysniak’s alleged assault are not clear. But given the comments he made on his radio show about racism, the American flag, and Confederate flag, you can begin to make some assumptions.

“The situation arose when a neighbor contacted Joe at a late hour to report two suspicious vehicles parked in the woods near the Staysniak home and Joe went to investigate. He discovered his adult son and a friend in one of the vehicles,” attorney Guy A. Relford told NBC News. “The details of what then transpired will come out in the courtroom, but we are completely confident that Joe’s actions will be conclusively determined to be legal and justified under the circumstances.”

Sounds like lawyer-speak and an argument on a technicality will be made in court. Stay tuned.

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