No Comment From Ohio State Gymnastics Coach, Ex-Olympian After Arrest


UPDATED: Thursday September 8, 2011 7:37 AM

The Ohio State University athletic department issued a statement on Wednesday that it was aware of Saturday's arrest of assistant men's gymnastics coach Paul Hamm.

Hamm, 28, was accused of hitting and kicking a taxi driver, damaging a cab window and refusing to pay a $23 fare, 10TV News reported.

Hamm was free on bond and was expected to be arraigned on Sept. 15, according to online court records.

According to a police report obtained by 10TV News, Hamm fell asleep as he was being driven home from the Arena District in a taxi that was driven by Abdinair Elmi.

"I was trying to take him home safely and come back my home safe but I don't know… something happened on the way," Elmi said.

According to Elmi, he called 911 after Hamm turned violent after refusing to pay him for the ride home.

"He (started) start chasing me and hitting me his legs in the back," Elmi said.

Officers arrived at 2500 block of Wexford Avenue and started talking to Hamm.  The conversation was captured by a camera mounted to the cruiser's dashboard, 10TV News reported.

"All the sudden looking at my wallet and I'm looking at a situation, I don't have my ID," Hamm said.

The officer then replied, "That's (because) I have it, man. You gave it to me less than five minutes ago."

When the officer asked Hamm how many drinks he had consumed, Hamm said he had "probably eight drinks."

During the arrest, an officer on the scene used his police radio to call for assistance. The officers tried to gain control of Hamm. Hamm was heard on the video saying, "You guys are so funny. You guys have no idea. I'm going to kill you guys."

Cameras showed Hamm refusing to stay seated.  At one point, an officer was forced to use his knee to make Hamm sit down.

As he was transported to jail, Hamm struggled to stay awake and, at one point, fell over in the back of the cruiser.  

"I hope he should learn his lesson and this incident doesn't happen (to) anybody else," Elmi said.

Hamm was a three-time Olympic medalist. He won the all-around competition at the 2004 Olympic Games. He was hired by Ohio State last year.

Hamm's attorney refused comment until after reviewing the facts of the case.

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