A disastrous NFL offseason for players trying to keep on the right side of the law appears to have gained another casualty in San Francisco 49ers linebacker Ahmed Brooks.
By all appearances, an altercation occurred between Brooks and 49ers nose tackle Lamar Divens on June 8th. During this altercation, Brooks is alleged to have hit Divens as many as three times over the head with a beer bottle.
According to NFL.com, the Santa Clara District Attorney’s office is considering filing charges against the Niners’ hard-hitting linebacker, though no formal decisions have been made and Brooks is not currently under arrest. The San Jose Mercury News reports that Brooks may be charged with a felony, a misdemeanor or not charged at all and that their investigation into the matter is ongoing.
This is not Brooks’ first dance with the law. The Mercury News also reports that during the 2008 season, Brooks was accused of punching a woman in the face while a member of the Cincinnati Bengals. The issue was resolved in mediation and Brooks was not charged.
Brooks’ attack on Divens allegedly caused the nose tackle to sustain injuries to his face and required Divens to receive three stitches.
Divens, who has not played in the league since the 2010 season and only signed on to play on the 49ers defense in February, initially wished to press charges against Brooks but later changed his mind.
Prosecutors sought and received an arrest warrant for Brooks from Judge Sharon Chatman despite the refusal of Divens to cooperate further with authorities. However, a day later, a higher-up authority stepped in and put a halt to any potential arrest of Brooks.
The Mercury News printed the following description between the exchange that occurred prior to the incident on Friday, June 7th.
The unidentified witness said Brooks was too intoxicated to drive home, so Divens drove. When they got to Brooks' house about 2 a.m. on June 8, Brooks asked for his keys. Divens pretended to chuck them onto the grass and then started to hand them to him.
Brooks then allegedly clocked Divens in the head with a beer bottle. Brooks allegedly began cursing and then struck him in the head again. Brooks allegedly asked Divens, "Do I need to get my (expletive deleted) gun?" and struck him again. Prosecutors also allege in the warrant that Brooks punched Divens.
Police took a report but did not make any arrests. According to the court documents, a San Jose police sergeant called Divens three days after the incident asking if he still wanted to press charges.
Divens said he and Brooks were in touch and nearing a resolution. Two days later, Divens phoned the officer and told him he wanted to "drop it."
-San Jose Mercury News.
As the crime bug continues to bite around the NFL, one has to wonder if changes in league expectations of players as well as crackdowns on serial offenders might be on their way. With nearly 30 arrests this offseason and even false reports beginning to be generated, such as the Twitter rumor about San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Matthews earlier this week that turned out to have not appeared to be based in reality. Crime and criminal activity are real problems in the NFL, and the NFL must work with the Players Union and coaches to make sure that these numbers drop.
***UPDATE*** As of 12:20 p.m. Pacific Time it has been learned that there is, in fact, an arrest warrant now out for Brooks from the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office on assault charges per Matt Fitzgerald of Bleacher Report.
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