Washington Redskins rookie free safety Sean Taylor was arrested by Virginia State Police this morning and charged with driving while intoxicated and refusing to take an alcohol blood or breath test, according to Virginia law enforcement officials.
Taylor, from the University of Miami and the fifth overall NFL draft choice, was released on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond and faces a Dec. 1 hearing in Fairfax County.
State Police Lt. Harry Newlin said an officer spotted a car, later identified by police as an '04 BMW, speeding southbound on the Beltway near Rt. 193 at 2:40 a.m.
The trooper stopped the car, Newlin said, and suspecting that the driver had been using alcohol, administered a field sobriety test, which the driver failed.
The driver, identified by Newlin as Taylor, then allegedly refused to take a breath test and was arrested and taken to the Fairfax County detention center, where he was booked.
Second Lt. Tony Shobe, of the Fairfax County Sheriff's office, said Taylor was brought in about 6 a.m. and released at 10 a.m. Attempts to reach Taylor or get comments from the Redskins were unsuccessful today. Taylor's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, did not return two messages. Taylor did not return a message left at a home number.
Taylor did not come out for team practice today, but he arrived at Redskins Park in the afternoon and entered through a back entrance, avoiding media representatives. According to sources, he met with Coach Joe Gibbs, Gregg Williams, the assistant head defensive coach, and team security officials before leaving again through the back entrance.
Earlier in the afternoon, Gibbs told reporters that Taylor is not expected to play on Sunday.
"It sounds like last night we had a problem with Sean," Gibbs said. "We're right now still trying to get all the information. To me, it sounds like it's serious and so when we get all the information and we'll kind of talk over the game plan here of what we should do. And then we'll put out a release and tell everybody what we're going to do. That's kind of where we are."
"On this football team, you've got some of the neatest people I've ever been around: Great character guys, and I think people who care a lot about the football team. I hurt for the team, and you don't like to see somebody in trouble either -- you hurt for the person. So we'll just try and deal with all of it as best we can."
Several players declined to talk about the situation. But linebacker LaVar Arrington said, "Now, it's not about the situation that has happened. It's about how he's going to handle it. It can be a blessing in disguise because how it's a wakeup call -- make him focus a little bit more. I hope because I get a lot riding on the rookie."
If convicted or if he admits a violation, Taylor faces a possible fine, suspension or other discipline by the NFL at the discretion of NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue. NFL fines against alcohol-related convictions amount to one-half of a regular-season game, up to $20,000, for a first offense. But NFL teams are allowed to fine or suspend players for violating team rules. Gibbs has only one team rule -- don't embarrass the Redskins or yourself.
Taylor's father is chief of police in Florida City, Fla.
Taylor, the fifth overall draft pick from the University of Miami, made an impact in his first two exhibition games and was moved ahead of free safety Andre Lott into the starting lineup against Miami.
He was surrounded by controversy during the off season. He fired agent Drew Rosenhaus following a news conference at Redskins Park two days after the April draft. He was fined $25,000 by the NFL for leaving a mandatory rookie symposium in June.
In late July Taylor fired his new agents, Eugene Mato and Jeff Moorad, because of unhappiness over a seven-year, incentive-laden contract potentially worth $40 million that they negotiated. Then he rehired Rosenhaus.
Taylor moved into the starting lineup in Week 3, and two weeks ago his interception sealed a 13-10 victory over the Chicago Bears to end Washington's four-game losing streak.
Washington Post staff writer Carol Morello contributed to this story.