NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports suspended Eddie D’Hondt, who spots for NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott, on Wednesday after D’Hondt was arrested May 12 on charges stemming from a September incident that allegedly included battery on an unborn child and assault on a woman.
According to the Catawba (N.C.) County Clerk of Court, the incident resulted in two misdemeanor charges. The first, assault on a woman, led to D’Hondt‘s arrest on Sept. 7; the second charge was added later and led to the May 12 arrest.
D’Hondt has spotted for Elliott in two races since his arrest, including Elliott’s victory on Sunday at Circuit of the Americas. Hendrick said it was informed of D’Hondt’s arrest on Wednesday morning and immediately suspended the spotter.
“We are taking this matter very seriously and will continue to seek additional information about the alleged incident,” the team said. “A spotter for this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series event at Charlotte Motor Speedway has not been named at this time.”
The incident occurred at a watersports rental place on Lake Norman, N.C., involving a dispute over a jet ski.
A representative from the clerk’s office read the charges to The Athletic via phone. The charge related to the unborn child says there was probable cause to believe D’Hondt “unlawfully and willfully did commit a battery by pushing (the pregnant woman) with his body on her stomach.” The charge related to the assault of a female says the woman told D’Hondt to stay back because she was pregnant, but he “slapped her hand out of the way and came at her, pushing her back with his body.”
D’Hondt, 62, is scheduled for court appearances on June 7 and June 30 for the separate charges.
A well-known figure in the NASCAR world, D’Hondt has spotted for each of Elliott’s 12 career wins and previously was a spotter for Jeff Gordon (2012-2015) until the driver retired. He also currently spots for Justin Allgaier in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and for Austin Hill in the NASCAR Truck Series.
NASCAR did not issue a comment other than its penalty report, which listed two violations: Being charged with a crime and failing to give NASCAR notice of the charges within 72 hours or the next race, whichever comes first.
The Athletic reached out to D’Hondt for comment and got no immediate reply.