Just three and a half hours before the Chargers playoff game against the New York Jets, wide receiver Vincent Jackson was calling backup quarterback Billy Volek for a ride after spending a brief time in handcuffs.
Jackson was stopped at 10 a.m. by a police officer who set a speed-trap along Murphy Canyon road. While not speeding, Jackson was pulled over due to the loud music from the his car. The officer cited that Jackson was operating contrary to a California law that prevents “the operation of any sound amplification system which can be heard outside the vehicle from 50 or more feet” (except for extenuating circumstances).
That stop itself was minor, given that the area was an empty non-residential location. Jackson’s response when asked to show license and registration, however, was not quite as trivial.
Jackson was then ticketed, after being briefly handcuffed, for not having valid documentation. Without the capacity to legally drive himself, the wideout received a lift from Volek. The apparent noise violation that brought about the original stop resulted in no citation.
The suspended license stemmed from an arrest last January for suspicion of drunken driving. This came while Jackson was still in the midst of five years’ probation for a 2006 arrest that resulted in conviction for another DUI.
Jackson had challenged the suspension, suing the Department of Motor Vehicles last year to have the suspension set aside while fighting the case in court. That challenge failed as a judge reimposed the suspension.
After the stop, Jackson stated, “I’m sure once it’s all said and done, we’ll definitely get the last laugh and hopefully our law enforcement will definitely continue to support us in the way that they have.”
He was less supportive of the handcuffing: “I think they handled it poorly. There was no intention on my part to flee the scene, or anything like that. I was being as cooperative as possible."
“It’s not something I was happy about,” Jackson said in a radio interview. “But again, you know, we don’t expect any kind of special treatment or anything like that. The law is the law, but again, I do think there are some things that could have been a little bit differently.”
He also mentioned his teammates, “had a few laughs about it in the locker room” and joked that it, “might have been the first time ever possibly a player couldn’t play in a game, let alone in a playoff game, because of a traffic stop a few hours before.”
The two counts of driving with a suspended license and one count of driving with an expired registration could result in up to six months of jail time and/or a fine of up to $1,000. The 2009 DUI case is still pending; If convicted, he could face some jail time as well as a one or two game suspension in the fall.
This closes out what otherwise was a career year for Jackson, who put up 1167 yards on 68 catches with 9 touchdowns.