By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, June 5, 2005
ESPN.com and the Miami Herald reported that Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor turned himself in to the Miami-Dade Police Department last night and was charged with a felony count of aggravated assault with a firearm as well as simple battery, but police officials would not confirm that and continued to say that Taylor was a person of interest in this case.
The Herald said Taylor turned himself in, accompanied by his lawyer, about 10 p.m. last night at the Cutler Ridge district police station and was taken to Turner Guilford Knight correctional facility.
Taylor, 22, selected with the fifth overall pick in the 2004 draft, and a friend were at the scene of an incident involving a stolen car and shots being fired on Wednesday night, a police spokeswoman said on Friday, and was wanted for questioning in the case, although the department would not stipulate if he was a suspect, victim or witness. As of 1 a.m. this morning police officials were still calling him a person of interest and would not confirm any other information or elaborate on the subject.
Several police staff members spoken to late Saturday night said they had been instructed by the department's media relations department that no new information was available and that they would issue a news release if or when developments warranted. A source at the Miami-Dade Correctional Facility said that as of 12:45 this morning Taylor's name did not appear in their arrest information, but added that it could take several hours for that to occur if someone was in the process of being questioned by police.
Taylor's mother, Donna Junor, said that she did not know if her son was being questioned and still had not heard from him recently. "I'm not aware of that," she said when reached at her house at about 11:30 p.m. "I don't know anything about that."
The Washington Redskins had not acknowledged the situation until after 11 p.m. last night, when the team released a statement saying: "We have just been made aware of a potential situation in Miami regarding Sean Taylor. The representatives for Taylor are keeping us informed as to the developments of the situation. There is nothing we can add to the process at this time."
Taylor's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, has not returned repeated phone calls for the past two days.
Police officials have said no one was injured in this incident. One police source said Friday that the scene took place in a residential area in south Florida and shots were fired into a stolen vehicle, but the nature of Taylor's presence there and any involvement in the case was unclear. At that time police said they did not know if the stolen vehicle had belonged to Taylor or his friend or someone else.
Police investigators had contacted Taylor's family and league officials hoping to find him, but several of Taylor's family members said on Friday that they did not know where he has been. His father, Pedro, is chief of police in Florida City, but was unwilling to speak to this matter when reached on Friday, directed reporters to call Junor. Taylor has not been at Redskins Park since the end of the season in January and has had no contact with team officials, refusing to return calls from Coach Joe Gibbs and his staff.
Taylor, who left the University of Miami after his junior season, has spent much of the offseason in south Florida, where he makes his home, while skipping the club's voluntary workouts, with Gibbs expressing his disappointment in that decision on numerous occasions.
While Taylor, who attended the University of Miami, had a strong rookie season on the field, he was plagued by problems off of it.
Taylor was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated in October, suspended for one game by the team, and then later acquitted. He fired his agent twice before returning to Rosenhaus due to unhappiness with the six-year deal -- worth a maximum of $40 million -- the he had signed under previous representation. Taylor was fined $25,000 by the league after leaving its mandatory rookie symposium without permission and a member of the Cincinnati Bengals accused Taylor of spitting on him during a game last season, although the NFL could not find evidence of the claim after investigating it.