Deion Sanders and wife cited by police, but only she is jailed overnight

DALLAS -- Deion Sanders proved an adept media strategist this week, when he tweeted his version of the domestic disturbance involving his children and estranged wife as it unfolded in real time.

The former Dallas Cowboys football star tweeted that his children "just witnessed their mother and a friend jump me in my room. She's going to jail [and] I'm pressing charges!"

Actually, police issued three Class C misdemeanor citations for assault – to Sanders, his wife and a female friend of hers - in connection with the disturbance. 

But only Sanders’s estranged wife, Pilar Sanders, was arrested and taken into custody Monday.

When she emerged Tuesday after spending the night in jail, she told reporters: “I'm a full-time mom, 100 percent for my children. And I just haven't been given a fair shake.”

She denied attacking her husband, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011 and now works as an analyst for the NFL Network.  He filed for divorce in December.

But a Collin County (Tex.) magistrate nevertheless granted Deion Sanders an emergency protective order that bars Pilar Sanders from returning to the couple’s home for 60 days. (CBS)

Deion and Pilar Sanders have lived in separate areas of the house since the divorce filing, lawyers said.

Why did police arrest only the football icon’s 120-pound wife?

“Based on [the responding officer’s] judgment and experience, and seeing the lay of the land, he decided it was prudent for her to be detained, and that’s completely at the discretion of the officer,’’ said police spokesman Celso Martinez.

Come again?

Late Tuesday, local police issued a written statement about why Pilar Sanders was taken into custody.

“The misdemeanor charge does not generally rise to the level of detention, however, the on-scene investigating officers, based on their experience, judgment and understanding of the immediate situation, made the decision to remand Mrs. Sanders to the Detention Facility.’’

They noted the investigation is continuing.

Meanwhile, Deion Sanders’ initial tweets have apparently been removed amid questions about whether they violated a gag order in the couple’s pending divorce case.

More recently, he’s tweeted and retweeted: “Strength is not only based on what u can lift,push,pull,press,carry,hold or squat. Its also measured by WHAT U CAN WALK AWAY FROM! Truth.’’

The couple starred in a 2008 Oxygen network reality series about their family's home life, "Deion & Pilar: Prime Time Love."

After the arrest of his wife this week, at least one supporter stood up for the hall-of-famer. He was scheduled to appear at a charity event in Dallas Monday, shortly after the domestic dispute. Nancy Lieberman, a member of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, praised Sanders to the local FOX affiliate.

"This is the most unbelievable man, father I've ever been around in my whole life," Lieberman said. "He's never done anything to ever hurt anybody, and he doesn't deserve this. And this is the best daddy I've ever been around."

 Lori Stahl is a Texas journalist who covers politics. Follow her on Twitter @LoriStahl.

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