Football Police reports depict pattern of domestic cases against Zach Smith

OSU coaches Tony Alford (left) and Zach Smith stand together before the Buckeyes game against Rutgers on Oct. 1. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorAccording to police reports obtained by The Lantern, former Ohio State wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Zach Smith had a history of domestic incidents reported to the police department by his now ex-wife Courtney Smith. Ohio State announced that it had fired Zach Smith on July 23 after allegations had surfaced of domestic violence involving Courtney Smith. Courtney Smith filed a domestic violence civil protection order on July 20. In 2009, Zach Smith, an assistant coach at the University of Florida at the time, was arrested by the Gainesville Police Department after aggravated battery of a pregnant victim. The police report obtained by The Lantern states that Smith, “grabbed the victim by her t-shirt, picked her up and threw her into a bedroom wall.”While addressing the situation at Big Ten Media Days, head coach Urban Meyer said he had been contacted about the situation in 2009. A report made Wednesday from former ESPN reporter Brett McMurphy detailed domestic violence allegations made against Zach Smith both in 2009 and 2015, suggesting that Meyer knew about the events that occured, something that he denied at Big Ten Media Days last week. “I can’t say it didn’t happen because I wasn’t there,” Meyer said about the 2015 incident. “ I was never told about anything, never anything came to light, never had a conversation about it, so I know nothing about that.”According to McMurphy’s report, Zach Smith, in the 2015 incident, “took (Courtney) and shoved me up against the wall, with his hands around my neck,” something she said happened very often.Of the 19 reports obtained by The Lantern, seven were traffic stops, though one of the stops involved Courtney Smith being visibly upset about a domestic incident involving her ex-husband. Here are some of the incidents that other reports included.October 21, 2015Courtney Smith files a report on a “suspicious person” who circled her in a car, then followed her into a Kroger. In the report, Courtney Smith mentions “issues she is having with her soon to be ex husband.”October 25, 2015This report states that Zach Smith was refusing to bring his son back to Courtney when it was her time with him. In this report, Courtney Smith states that she “has threatening text messages saved on her phone from her husband.” The report states that this was while Courtney and Zach Smith were going through their divorce, and when police asked for her address to bring an officer to her house, Courtney Smith said she did not want officers responding to her house, and that she would come to the police station in the morning.October 26, 2015The day following Zach Smith’s inability to return his son to Courtney, according to the report, Courtney Smith requests to file a restraining order against Zach Smith.Jan. 5, 2016Courtney Smith is stopped for speeding. According to the police report, she said “she was having domestic issues with her ex” and that “the driver was crying and visibly upset.”Dec. 17, 2017 Courtney Smith files a report that Zach Smith was seen by her neighbors at 1:30 in the morning looking into the windows of her vehicle and residence. Believing that he may have been impaired, Zach Smith, according to the police report, left in his truck, driving up on a curb and nearly striking a sign. Also, Courtney Smith reported that a Christmas wreath on her door was thrown to the ground. March 2, 2018 Police report states that Zach Smith’s children were talking with Courtney Smith using FaceTime. The children were said to be “really upset and crying.” The report states that Zach Smith was yelling at the children in the background of the call, telling them to “hang up on mom” and grabbing the phone from the children’s hands. The report says that Zach Smith called Courtney Smith back telling her, “she would not talk to them again and hung up on her.” The police report states that Zachary Smith is bipolar and that he drinks, per Courtney Smith, who called in the request.  July 11, 2018 Courtney Smith files a report that Zach Smith has been “relentlessly stalking” and “harassing” her. The report also states Zach Smith had taken his and Courtney Smith’s two children to Florida for vacation “without being honest to her as to where they were staying.” The police report states that Zach Smith was not contacted when Courtney Smith filed the police report due to the fear that he would delay the return of the children.

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