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Panthers' Hardy has bond set at $17,000

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - A Charlotte Mecklenburg County judge set bond for Greg Hardy at $17,000 one day after the Carolina Panthers' Pro Bowl defensive end was arrested on charges of assault on a female and communicating threats.

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Judge Rebecca Thorne Tin on Wednesday ordered Hardy not to have any contact with the accuser and to attend three Alcoholic Anonymous meetings per week.

Hardy's attorney, Chris Fialko, argued in court that his client was abused and Hardy made the 911 call to police at 4:18 a.m. Tuesday.

But the accuser's attorney, Stephen Goodwin, said his client was held down by one of Hardy's friends and prevented from calling police. Goodwin said she has bruises from ''from head to toe'' and that she was ''flung around the room'' by the 6-foot-4, 290-pound Hardy.

Hardy spent Tuesday night in jail and appeared in court wearing an orange jump suit.

Police said patrol officers responded to a domestic violence assault call early Tuesday morning in Charlotte.

Upon arriving, officers spoke to the 24-year-old woman, who told them that she had been physically assaulted and threatened by Hardy. She said that she and Hardy had been in a relationship since September 2013.

According to the report, she suffered bruises and scratches, but refused treatment. Goodwin said his client did go to the emergency room later Tuesday and that her arm is now in a sling.

Goodwin said his client injured her elbow when she was thrown in a tiled bathroom.

''She is very scared,'' Goodwin said.

Fialko said Hardy is expected to be released from jail Wednesday afternoon.

Goodwin said Hardy and the accuser previously lived together, and while they were still involved in a relationship, they were not living together at the time of the incident. It occurred at Hardy's downtown apartment after a party.

Hardy tied a franchise record with 15 sacks last season for the league's second-ranked defense. He had 11 sacks in 2012.

That production convinced the salary-cap strapped Panthers to make Hardy their franchise player at $13.116 million for one season. Hardy signed the team's offer sheet in March.

The Panthers said in a statement Tuesday they were ''very disappointed'' to learn of the allegations involving Hardy and planned to investigate.

The Panthers organization is particularly sensitive to domestic violence issues.

In 2001, Panthers wide receiver Rae Carruth was found guilty of conspiring to murder his girlfriend, Cherica Adams, who was carrying his child. Carruth was sentenced to 18 to 24 years in prison.

Hardy's court appearance comes on the same day the Panthers hosted a breakfast at their stadium for ''Men For Change,'' a group that serves victims of domestic violence.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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