By GENE JOHNSON, Associated Press
SEATTLE (AP) – Washington state prosecutors have indicted former Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers star Richard Sherman after police say he crashed his in-state SUV intoxicated in a construction zone and had attempted to break into the home of his in-laws.
Sherman, who was released from jail on Thursday, was scheduled to appear in court Friday on arraignment on five counts: driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless endangerment of road workers, criminal trespassing, resistance to arrest and malicious mischief. These are all misdemeanors, punishable by up to 90 days in prison, or serious misdemeanors, punishable by up to one year.
Sherman’s attorney, Cooper Offenbecher, did not immediately return an email requesting comment.
Sherman was belligerent, had been drinking heavily and opened up about committing suicide when he left his home in the Seattle suburb of Maple Valley on Tuesday night, according to police reports. His wife, Ashley Sherman, called 911 to try to get the police to stop.
He was arrested early Wednesday after police said he crashed his car in a construction area along a busy freeway east of Seattle and then attempted to break into the her in-laws’ home in the suburbs of Redmond. Workers said the driver entered the closed construction area at a speed of 97 to 113 km / h (60 to 70 mph) and accelerated after being confronted, shooting sparks from a wheel, then abandoned the broken down vehicle nearby.
Sherman’s stepfather Raymond Moss told officers he armed himself with a handgun and fired pepper spray at the NFL cornerback to protect his family as Sherman tried to smash the door to Moss’s house with his shoulder.
Another of Moss’s daughters begged a 911 operator for officers to arrive quickly and told her children to hide in a bathroom behind a shower curtain, according to the audio of the call released Thursday.
“The family started screaming in fear,” Raymond Moss told police. “I used pepper spray on Sherman’s face through the partially open door as he continued to knock and tried to enter. I told him to stop. I am armed with my handgun at the moment, fearing for my safety and that of my family. “
Officers were cautious before arresting Sherman because of his size, strength and aggressiveness, according to police reports. After trying to defuse the situation, they decided to use less lethal force after warning Sherman that they would if he didn’t follow their orders.
They couldn’t use a Taser because they were afraid of igniting the chemical that Sherman’s stepfather had sprayed him with and couldn’t shoot a beanbag because they were too close to him. Instead, they released a police dog, which bit his ankle and caused a minor cut, as other officers struggled with him on the ground, according to reports.
In February, King County prosecutors and the sheriff obtained an “extreme risk protection order” for Sherman, which banned him from having firearms after a judge determined he was a danger. for himself or for others. Details of the case were sealed and it was not immediately clear whether any weapons had been seized from him.
Ashley Sherman told police her husband was taking antidepressants and receiving mental health counseling.
The arrest was Sherman’s first known involvement with the criminal justice system.
In a hearing Thursday, Sherman’s lawyer did not dispute the existence of a probable cause for the arrest. But he said Sherman should be released without bail and noted his good work in the community, including founding the Blanket Coverage Foundation, a charity that provides low-income students with school supplies and clothing.
“Richard Sherman is among the best in our community,” said Offenbecher. “He’s a good person and a good soul. He takes these allegations very seriously.
Sherman, 33, became a Seattle sports legend for seven seasons with the Seahawks. The cornerback was a star in their race to a 2014 Super Bowl victory, making a saving play to deflect a pass in the NFC Championship game against the 49ers.
He left the Seahawks after the 2017 season and played three seasons with San Francisco. He is now a free agent.
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