Prosecutors in Washington state have charged NFL star Richard Sherman after police said he drunkenly crashed his SUV in a construction zone and tried to break into his in-laws’ home.
Sherman, who was released from jail on Thursday, was expected to appear in court on Friday for arraignment on five criminal charges: driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless endangerment of road workers, criminal trespassing, resisting arrest and malicious mischief. They are all misdemeanors, punishable by up to 90 days in jail, or gross misdemeanors, punishable by up to one year.
“I am deeply remorseful for my actions on Tuesday night. I behaved in a manner I am not proud of,” wrote Sherman in a statement posted to Twitter on Friday. “I have been dealing with some personal challenges over the last several months, but that is not an excuse for how I acted. The importance of mental and emotional health is extremely real and I vow to get the help I need. I appreciate all of the people who have reached out in support of me and my family, including our community here in Seattle. I am grateful to have such an amazing wife, family and support system to lean on during this time.”
Sherman was belligerent, had been drinking heavily and spoke of killing himself when he left his home in the Seattle suburb of Maple Valley late on Tuesday, according to police reports. Sua moglie, Ashley Sherman, chiamato 911 to try to have police stop him.
The 33-year-old Sherman was arrested early on Wednesday after police said he crashed his car in a construction zone along a busy highway east of Seattle and then tried to break into his in-laws’ home in the suburb of Redmond. Workers said the driver entered the closed construction zone at 60 per 70 mph and sped off after being confronted, then abandoned the vehicle nearby.
Sherman’s father-in-law, Raymond Moss, told officers that he armed himself with a handgun and fired pepper-spray at the former Seattle Seahawks cornerback to protect his family as Sherman tried to bust in the door of Moss’ home with his shoulder. Another of Moss’ daughters pleaded with a 911 operator for officers to arrive quickly and told her children to hide in a bathroom behind a shower curtain, according to audio of the call released on Thursday.
“The family began to yell in fear,” Raymond Moss told police. “I used pepper spray on Sherman’s face through the partially opened door as he was still banging and attempting to gain entry. I told him to stop. I armed myself with my handgun at this time fearing for the safety of myself and my family.”
Officers were cautious about arresting Sherman because of his size, strength and belligerence, according to police reports. They could not use a Taser because they worried about igniting whatever chemical Sherman’s father-in-law had sprayed him with and could not fire a bean-bag round because they were too close to him. Anziché, they released a police dog, which bit his ankle and caused a minor cut, as other officers wrestled with him on the ground, the reports say.
A febbraio, King county prosecutors and the sheriff obtained an “extreme risk protection order” for Sherman, which barred him from having guns after a judge determined he posed a danger to himself or others. Details of the case were sealed, and it was not immediately clear if any weapons had been seized from him.
Ashley Sherman told police her husband had been on anti-depressants and was receiving mental health counseling.
The arrest was Sherman’s first known involvement with the criminal justice system.
At a court hearing on Thursday, Sherman’s attorney did not contest that probable cause existed for the arrest. But he said Sherman should be released without bail and noted his good works in the community, including founding the Blanket Coverage Foundation, a charity that provides low-income students with school supplies and clothes.
Sherman became a Seattle sports legend during seven seasons with the Seahawks. The cornerback was a star in their run to a 2014 Super Bowl victory, making a game-saving play to deflect a pass in the NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers. He left the Seahawks after the 2017 season and played three seasons with San Francisco. He is now a free agent.