SoonerScoop.com staff members Carey Murdock, Eddie Radosevich and RJ Young were all present at the City of Norman Investigations Center earlier this morning. All three witnessed the Pickleman's Gourmet Cafe surveillance video involving Joe Mixon's altercation with Amelia Molitor.
Below are accounts from each staff member detailing what they saw as well as a ScoopHD video with Radosevich and Young.
Eddie Radesovich's take after viewing the Pickleman's surveillance footage
This wasn't a case of self-defense. It made me cringe. The punishment is fair. It all happened so quickly.
Those were the first things that came to mind as I sat with some 20 other reporters and watched the events unfold in the early morning hours of July 21. The video is damning.
Amelia Molitor instigated the contact. Joe Mixon disturbingly finished it. It was worse than I expected. It was violent.
Here's my take on the observation. The angle of the surveillance video gives you an extremely clear look at what exactly went down between the two physically.
2:39:02 a.m. video begins
Molitor and a male friend walk into camera and she is what I thought to be visibly intoxicated, leaning both of her hands onto the table in front of her.
Molitor looks up (towards the enterance of Pickelmans) and motions for Mixon to come to her table.
Mixon walks into frame of surveillance video.
The first thing that stuckout to me initially was that it never looked to be a true confortation. No one is being restrained. No one appears to be angry or shouting. Molitor hasn't moved and is still in the same position as she was, with Mixon now standing between her and the friend that entered with her.
Again without the audio its hard to know what now is being said between the three of them. I want to reiterate that it never appears to be a confortation. One of my biggest questions of the incident was: where were his temmates to (help) get him out of any conflict/siuation? From viewing the situation in real time, it never appeared to me that it was going to end violently.
Mixon begins to walk away and appears to say something to the male as he starts his exit out of frame. This is when Molitor initiates the physical contact with a two handed push. Mixon barely budges, clinching both fists by his side Mixon now flinches/lunges at her. This is when Molitor strikes Mixon with an open hand across the left side of his neck.
Neither the push or the slap are significant in the least bit. What made the viewing even more uncomfortable- perhaps more than I expected- is the difference in size between Mixon and Molitor.
Following the slap across the left side of his neck (she can barely reach his face), Mixon unloads a violent right handed hook. There's really not a nice or clean way of saying it. Molitor immediately falls to the floor from the stirke, hitting her face on the edge of the table in the process. Mixon immediately bolts out of frame.
The guy that was standing there is still in view and is now joined by two other girls. They help a very, very wobbly Molitor up off the ground. She is bleeding from her nose, refusing the help being offered.
Molitor begins to exit towards the entrance of Pickelmans and is now no longer in view of the surveillance footage.
Couple other thoughts:
* Pickleman's did not appear to be busy. The security footage is from the front left corner towards the back of the restaurant.
* There are no other football players visible in the security footage.
* The male that is named in the report as a the acquaintance to Molitor stood there the entire time and witnessed every single thing that happened. It would be interesting to see what his side of the story is.
* There was nothing that struck me as threatening to Mixon's well being. I will state again she instigated the physical altercation. That is fact. However, the push compared to the punch that followed are on two different ends of the spectrum. It was shocking. I have never seen a male hit a woman with that force.
* Mixon left the incident almost as soon as she fell to the floor.
RJ Young's take after watching the Pickleman's surveillance video
The tape was clear. It was short, and it was worse than I thought it would be.
At 9 this morning, more than 20 journalists sat in a theater room at the City of Norman Investigations Center to watch surveillance tape of the incident at Pickleman's Gourmet Café involving 5-star running back Joe Mixon and 20-year-old OU student Amelia Molitor.
The angle of the surveillance camera looks down from a corner. Its lens is directly on Molitor and Mixon at the moment of the physical altercation. You couldn't ask for a better camera angle.
There's no audio to go along with the video, so no one watching the video can be sure of what was said. We can only speculate that Molitor didn't like something that was being said and summoned Mixon to her table to hash it out.
When Mixon looked like he was trying to leave after possibly saying something he shouldn't have, Molitor, the victim, initiated the physical confrontation with a push into Mixon's chest, which didn't seem to move him much.
Mixon followed by lunging at her. Molitor jerked back and slapped Mixon on the chin and neck. She swung with force but didn't connect flush or enough to make an impact on Mixon.
Immediately following the slap, Mixon leveled a punch violent enough to knock Molitor down so that her head hit the corner of a nearby table. The force of Mixon's punch caught me off guard -- even when I knew it was coming.
After throwing the punch, Mixon fled from the camera's view and did not reenter it. Molitor is left on the ground and stays down for much longer than a 10-count. She makes it back to her feet on her own but wobbles and has to be helped into a chair.
Blood streamed down her face as friends and Pickleman's patrons brought her ice and paper towels to help stop the bleeding. Fewer than two minutes later, Molitor rises from her seat, picks up her phone and walks out of the camera's view.
There was one man in the camera's view who was there for the entire length of the physical altercation, and he is probably one of three people who know what was actually said.
But here's what we know: We know from the probable cause affidavit filed by Norman Police that Mixon left the scene. We know from that same affidavit that a verbal quarrel took place inside and outside Pickleman's.
We know from the 911 call made from Pickleman's that Molitor might have been intoxicated. We know Molitor was taken to Norman Regional Hospital and found to have suffered four facial fractures and a hematoma from Mixon's single punch.
We know OU coach Bob Stoops, athletic director Joe Castiglione and President David Boren felt it prudent to suspend Mixon from playing football for the year while Mixon battles a misdemeanor charge for his punch in court.
But I keep going back to Mixon's chance to walk away. He could've turned, left and enjoyed the rest of his birthday. And that would've been the end of it.
There would be no public mention of the dispute. There would be no allegations of slurs uttered, and there'd be no video of a shove, a lunge, a slap and or a straight right cross that altered both their lives.
CONCLUSIONS FROM CAREY MURDOCK
RJ and Eddie did a fairly complete job of describing what was on the video tape. I'll just answer some things that a lot of people have asked.
*Were any players with Mixon? None were visible on the tape. The incident took place near the front of the store so Molitor could have motioned Mixon into the store while he was standing outside. It's possible he was with football players but they didn't come into the store with him. I'm just speculating.
The troubling thing, as Eddie said, was there was no one there to intervene after Molitor turned the exchange into a physical altercation. After her attempt at slugging Mixon, that was the point where Mixon could have walked away, or someone else could have stepped in and break up the altercation before Mixon hauled off and decked the girl.
*How do you know what was said? We don't. There was no audio on the surveillance footage. So we can't really know what was said to Molitor's male friend. But the forceful way that Mixon's head bobbed toward the man seemed to indicate he was saying something pretty nasty. It was like a walk-off shot. He barked something at the guy and then attempted to walk out of the situation. That's when Molitor came toward him and shoved him.
*Was Mixon confused that he was being attacked by a woman with another man standing right by them? No. It was clear Mixon knew Molitor was confronting him. His full attention was focused on Molitor. He knew who was attacking him. I have no doubts about that. Her male friend was no where near the altercation and did nothing to try and calm the situation from what I could see.
*Why was the video shown to the media? Because media outlets were the ones requesting to see the footage through open records requests. The video will be released Nov. 1, so expect to see it for yourselves then.
*The guys are exactly on point. It's amazing how quickly all of this happened. It was so quick, Mixon probably had no idea what he'd done until he was long gone from the scene. It's an unfortunate situation. Personally, the homophobic behavior is troubling. A lot of sports fans in Oklahoma won't feel that way, but I do. Mixon had a chance to remove himself from that situation. He obviously had his walk-off shot to Molitor's gay friend. Then he had another opportunity to walk away after Molitor tried to slug him.
By the way, I kind of disagree with the way her slap/slug was portrayed. My take was that she swung at Mixon as hard as she could, she just didn't hit that hard and the blow barely registered.
*Is Mixon's punishment just? Before this, I was pretty clear that I thought Mixon should be allowed to practice. I'm fine with him being held out of practices now. Mixon has to earn back some trust from a lot of people. I think I'm one of those people now too. I'm as troubled by the events leading up to this (targeting a gay man with insults) as I am the punch. I knew the punch would be bad. I prepared myself for it. It was about as I expected. It didn't shock me. But watching this video made me really question Joe Mixon's character for the first time. That's a troubling revelation for me.