Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo was cautioned by police for smashing a phone out of a 14-year-old boy’s hand following his team’s 1-0 Premier League defeat to Everton in April. The boy’s mom said her son is autistic, according to Daily Mail.
On Wednesday, Merseyside Police released a statement, revealing the matter has concluded.
“We can confirm that a 37-year-old man voluntarily attended and was interviewed under caution in relation to an allegation of assault and criminal damage,” the police statement read.
“The allegation relates to an incident following the Everton v Manchester United football match at Goodison Park on Saturday April 9. The matter has been dealt with by way of conditional caution. The matter has now concluded.”
In viral footage from the incident, Ronaldo, 37, appeared to slap his hand down while storming off the field to the tunnel at Goodison Park following United’s defeat against Everton.
Sarah Kelly said her son, Jacob Harding, was in the crowd at his first game to watch Everton played United in April, when Ronaldo knocked the phone out of his hand, according to Daily Mail.
“We were right by the tunnel where they came walking past — my son was there videoing them all,” said Kelly, a Merseyside native, who claimed her son’s hand was “bruised” after being “assaulted” in the alleged altercation.
“And then he lowered his phone because Ronaldo had pulled down his sock and his leg was bleeding. He lowered his phone to see what it was — he didn’t even speak. Ronaldo then just walked past, with a terrible, terrible temper and smashed the phone out of my son’s hand and carried on walking.”
Kelly said she was “crying” and “shook up” in the immediate aftermath of the incident.
“You can see by the bruise that he’s made contact,” she said. “I was crying, I was shook up, Jacob was in complete shock — he’s autistic and he’s got dyspraxia as well, so he didn’t really digest what was happening until we got home. He’s really upset and it’s completely put him off going to the game again.
“Ronaldo’s a big player. My son’s always been like ‘Ronaldo’s going to be there’ — he’s an icon. I’d understand if Jacob was waving it in his face but he wasn’t near his face, it was down by the floor checking his injury. He’s an autistic boy and he’s been assaulted by a football player, that’s how I see it as a mum.”
At the time, ESPN reported that eyewitnesses said Ronaldo had knocked a fan’s phone out of their hand and it smashed to the ground.
Ronaldo took to Instagram at the time to apologize for his “outburst” after the game.
“It’s never easy to deal with emotions in difficult moments such as the one we are facing,” Ronaldo said. “Nevertheless, we always have to be respectful, patient and set the example for all the youngsters who love the beautiful game.
“I would like to apologize for my outburst and, if possible, I would like to invite this supporter to watch a game at Old Trafford as a sign of fair-play and sportsmanship.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Ronaldo said he keeps a notebook containing “lies” from the media about his United future amid speculation about his potential departure.