Pittsford --- Embattled offensive line coach Aaron Kromer could be returning to the Buffalo Bills sideline very soon.
On Friday, charges against Kromer and his son, Zachery, were dropped, according to Florida state attorney Bobby Elmore.
The coach who was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of allegedly punching and threatening a minor the morning of July 12 in Walton County, Fla., has been on a paid administrative leave from the team. Zachery Kromer was also facing a simple battery charge for his role in the incident.
Now, legally, both are in the clear. The Bills are expected to suspend Kromer for a certain number of games to start the regular season, though he would be able to work at training camp.
Elmore said that both sets of parents of the two minors wrote letters to his office that they'd like charges to be dropped.
"They requested that essentially we not force them to disrupt the lives of their children any further by continuing the prosecution," he said, "and that they had all reached an amicable resolution."
So, as Elmore noted, one can infer that a settlement was reached between the two sides, though he didn't know any details.
"They don't want us to force their children to be witnesses, participants in a prosecution --- under the circumstances of this case --- where the injuries were minor with the one child who was injured," Elmore said. "It doesn't appear there will be any likely contact between them again. It seemed like it was an isolated incident. And as far as the Kromers are concerned, we're going to honor their parents' request to drop the charges.
"That'll be the conclusion of the case."
The 48-year old Kromer stands 6 foot 4, 200 pounds while the alleged victim is 5 foot 8, 140 pounds. The dispute stemmed over the use of Kromer's beach chairs. According to a redacted police report, Kromer approached three boys at Inlet Beach and threw their fishing pole into the water. He then allegedly pushed one victim to the ground and punched him in the face, threatening to kill his family if he told police.
Kromer originally had an Aug. 12 court date set, plead not guilty ahead of time and then was scheduled to re-appear in court Sept. 2.
Rather than rid themselves of Kromer immediately, the Bills decided to stay patient and let the process play out.
Right tackle Cyrus Kouandjio said he had gotten used to Kromer's coaching through the spring.
"He brings a lot to the table as an offensive line coach," Kouandjio said. "He’s probably one of the best in the league — he is one of the best in the league."
Now, it appears Kromer will be sticking around, albeit with some punishment from the team itself.
Head coach Rex Ryan didn’t provide an update on Kromer earlier Friday, though assistant coach Kurt Anderson oversaw the group during practice.
“Kurt’s obviously going to head up coaching the offensive line,” Ryan said, “I think he’s got the qualities to be a fine offensive line coach. But it’s just business as usual for us.”