Atlanta PD declines to press charges against Dwight Howard

Authorities in Atlanta have declined to charge Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard with child abuse.

"We are gratified that the Atlanta Police Department, after fully examining the frivolous allegations against Dwight Howard, has closed the case and decided not to proceed with charges," attorney David Oscar Markus said in a statement Monday. "Dwight Howard will continue to act in the best interest of his children and do whatever is necessary to protect their welfare."

Howard had been investigated regarding an incident from last year in which Howard admitted to authorities that he had hit his child with a belt. He told police that he was disciplined in such a manner growing up and didn't realize it was wrong.

Police in Florida looked into the incident in the fall but did not proceed with the investigation because of a lack of evidence. Information reportedly emerged in January that caused Cobb County (Georgia) police to re-open the case, which later was taken over by Atlanta police because it was determined the alleged incident happened in Fulton County.