Update (3/27/2014): Tony Rizzo pleaded no contest to a lesser charge this morning, a fourth degree misdemeanor of "persistent disorderly conduct."
Original story (12/9/2013): Tony Rizzo, the 52-year-old host of The Really Big Show on ESPN Radio in Cleveland and the Rizzo Show on Fox 8 on Sundays, was arrested at his home in Medina on Friday on charges of domestic violence.
His wife called 911 while locked in the bathroom at 8:17 p.m. on Friday, according to the report from the Medina police. Rizzo had been drinking before choking her and hitting her in the face: "My husband is hurting me and he's very irate and I'm really scared," she told the dispatcher. A police officer arrived minutes later. The narrative from the dispatcher says: "ANTHONY RIZZO (HUSBAND) HITTING IN FACE.. CATHERINE (WIFE) LOCKED IN THE BATHROOM ON MAIN FLOOR."
Rizzo, whose radio show airs weekdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m, briefly mentioned the incident on air today, but said he couldn't elaborate, according to a listener. He quickly moved on to talk about the Browns. He was on air yesterday doing his normal Browns coverage.
Fox 8, the station that employs Rizzo, was the first to report the story just after 11 a.m. today: "Tony Rizzo sent a text to Fox 8 News, in which he declined to comment on his arrest and the domestic violence allegations."
Update (1:35 p.m): Scene obtained the audio of the 911 call Tony Rizzo's wife made as she was locked in her bathroom Friday night. She mentions Rizzo was banging on the door but left when he realized she was calling the police and that he had a gun in the house.
Dispatcher: What's going on?
Wife: My husband is hurting me and he's very irate and I'm really scared.
Dispatcher: Hurting you how?
Wife: Choking me, (unintelligible, possibly "dragging"), hitting my face. I'm locked in the bathroom right now.
Dispatcher: Are there any weapons in the house?"
Wife: There's a gun upstairs.
Dispatcher: Are you upstairs or downstairs?
Wife: No, I'm downstairs.
Dispatcher: Any children in the house?
Wife: No, not tonight.
Dispatcher: is he drunk?
Wife: Yes, we've been drinking.
Dispatcher: What is he doing right now?
Wife: He was beating the door but he left when he heard that I was calling you.
Dispatcher: What's his name?
Wife: Tony Rizzo.
Dispatcher: And your name?
Wife: Catherine Rizzo.
Email us at email@example.com.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.