Charges Against Ex-Major League Soccer Executive Drop

New York prosecutors dropped assault charges against the former head of Dallas’s Major League Soccer franchise, who was accused of attacking his wife in a midtown Manhattan hotel last year.

Hal Douglas Quinn was arrested Nov. 10 at the Alex Hotel on East 45th Street after his wife, Elizabeth, told police that he struck her and tried to choke her during an argument, according to the New York City Police Department. He was charged with third-degree assault, a misdemeanor, and second-degree strangulation, a felony that carries a prison term of as long as seven years.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office moved to dismiss the case today after reviewing hospital records, the victim’s injuries and evidence from the site of the alleged attack. There wasn’t enough evidence to prove Quinn’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, prosecutors said.

“In deciding to dismiss all charges, the district attorney’s office conducted a thorough investigation,” Quinn’s attorneys, Alan S. Futerfas and Bettina Schein, said in a statement. “Mr. Quinn is thrilled to be finally vindicated.”

Quinn was named president and chief executive officer of FC Dallas in June 2010 after six years as president of Major League Soccer affiliate Soccer United Marketing. He was placed on administrative leave after his arrest and stepped down in February to “allow him to spend more time with his family.”

‘Went Wrong’

Quinn was in New York visiting friends when he was arrested, according to Futerfas. Elizabeth Quinn told the New York Post after her husband’s arrest that “things went wrong” after the couple had a “lovely night” celebrating his 50th birthday the previous night and that the pair, who have two small children, plan to stay together.

Quinn’s wife told police her husband struck her in the face with a closed fist, causing swelling and bruising on the left side, and tried to choke her, according to the NYPD. She was treated by emergency medical services at the scene and taken to New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, police said.

The victim, who wasn’t identified in the complaint, told police that Quinn “repeatedly punched her in the face and body, causing her to suffer substantial pain, bruising and swelling to her face, arms and legs, and causing her eye to become swollen shut,” according to the complaint.

She also told officers that Quinn “placed his hands around her neck and applied pressure and placed a pillow over her head and applied pressure, making it difficult for the victim to breathe and causing her to lose consciousness,” according to the complaint.

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