TJ Ward Sentenced to Community Service After Prosecutors Drop Charges

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistMay 22, 2014

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Updates from Monday, August 4

The Associated Press confirms charges against T.J. Ward have been dropped:

Prosecutors have agreed to drop charges against Denver Broncos safety T.J. Ward in exchange for community service.

A judge accepted the deal on Monday during a brief hearing in Denver.


A judge will review the status of the case on Oct. 31.


Updates from Tuesday, July 22

The Associated Press provided an update on T.J. Ward's court hearing:

A court hearing for Broncos safety T.J. Ward on charges stemming from an incident at a strip club has been delayed until next month.

Ward appeared in a Denver courtroom with his attorney Abraham Hutt Tuesday morning. Hutt asked the judge for more time because of evidence he just received. The hearing was delayed until Aug. 4.

Earlier, the Associated Press provided details on Ward's hearing:

Broncos safety T.J. Ward is scheduled to be in court for charges stemming from an incident at a strip club.

Ward faces misdemeanor assault and disturbing the peace charges for allegedly throwing a glass mug at a female bartender May 10 at PT's All Nude Club. Ward's hearing in Denver County Court is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.


Updates from Monday, June 23

Jordan Steffen of The Denver Post reported on the legal troubles surrounding T.J. Ward:

Broncos safety T.J. Ward, who is facing multiple charges stemming from an incident at a Denver strip club, will appear back in court next month after continuing his hearing on Monday.

The 27-year-old is accused of throwing a glass mug at a strip club bartender after she told him outside drinks were not allowed, according to a probable cause statement.


Updates from Wednesday, May 28

ESPN's Jeff Legwold has the latest on Ward:

Ward, speaking after the first day of Broncos' OTAs, reaffirmed that he only knew a warrant had been issued for his arrest last week for the May 10 incident at PT's All Nude club when he saw news reports.

"It was kind of blown out of proportion, now it's being taken care of, it's only basically a ticket or summons,'' Ward said. "It wasn't supposed to be a warrant initially, but there was some miscommunication with the police department and myself. It's all being resolved and [I'm] looking forward to just moving forward.

"I didn't think anything was wrong actually until I heard about the warrant,'' Ward continued. "Once I found out, I did everything, cooperated, settled it quickly and it's behind me.''


"You just have to be more, I guess, aware of what you do in certain situations and times of the day,'' Ward said. "I've learned from that.''


Updates from Friday, May 23

Tom Pelissero of USA Today has the latest on Ward:

Noelle Phillips of the Denver Post has more details on Ward:

 Authorities set a $1,900 bond for the 27-year-old Ward. His next court appearance is scheduled for June 23.

Denver police issued a warrant for Ward on Thursday, charging him with misdemeanor assault and disturbing the peace.

Denver Police Department spokesman Sonny Jackson said the arrest warrant is connected to an altercation at PT's All Nude, 3480 S. Galena St. in Denver. The warrant said the incident occurred at 2:30 a.m. on May 10.

Phillips provided more details on the incident:

Ward was holding a glass bottle, and the bartender asked him to take the bottle to his car or throw it away. Ward told the bartender that he was allowed to have the bottle, according to the court document.

About 10 minutes later, Ward returned to the bar with a non-alcoholic drink purchased at the club and asked for a cup of ice. The bartender then saw him pour from the same bottle he had been told to take outside, the document said.

The bartender took the cup and poured out the drink. When she turned to help another customer, she felt something hit her wrist, the document said.

At the time, the bartender did not know who the customer was. Other staff members later told her it was Ward.

The bartender was able to identify him through a picture from the Internet. And police detectives were able to review video surveillance from inside the club.

The video showed Ward watching the bartender after she took away his glass. As she passed him, "he picks up a glass mug that is sitting on the bar and tosses/throws the glass mug at her. The male then walks away," the court document said.


Original Text

An arrest warrant reportedly has been issued for Denver Broncos safety T.J. Ward, who joined the team via free agency this offseason after four years with the Cleveland Browns.

The report of the active warrant, issued for an incident on May 9 involving alleged assault and disturbing the peace, comes from CBS4's Brian Maass:

The warrant became active Thursday. It was issued for Terrell R. Ward, T.J. Ward’s real name. The date of birth on the warrant matches Ward’s date of birth.

Court records reveal little about what prompted the issuance of the arrest warrant. However, sources say the warrant was issued in connection with a scuffle at a Denver nightclub.

USA Today's Tom Pelissero supplied police confirmation:

The Broncos were quick to release a statement about the issue after its announcement, via Troy Renck of The Denver Post:

CBS4's Vic Lombardi provided further context and stressed a wait-and-see approach to the situation:

After four seasons with the Browns in which he amassed 248 solo tackles, Ward cashed in on the free-agent market with a four-year deal worth $22.5 million, according to Spotrac.

According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Ward ranked as the No. 3 overall safety in the NFL last season for his efforts. Ward also made his debut on NFL Network's NFL Top 100 this offseason, coming in at No. 82.

Denver inked the Oregon product to a handsome deal in order to pair his talents with Rahim Moore at safety and supplant Duke Ihenacho. Mike Klis of The Denver Post says management also coveted Ward for his versatility:

Obviously things are still in flux in regards to Ward's off-field incident, but the Broncos from a football perspective cannot afford to lose Ward after coming in at No. 27 in pass defense last season with an average of 254.4 passing yards per game surrendered.

Ward is a critical piece for John Elway and Co. as Peyton Manning's career winds down, so keep a close eye on the situation as it unfolds.


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