Lindsey's 20 Strangest Sports Stories from Criminal Blotters in 2010

Kevin LindseyAnalyst IJanuary 2, 2011

Unfortunately sports stars occasionally find themselves on the wrong side of the law. Generally, the stuff that athletes get arrested for are because they had (a) a fight with a girlfriend or wife, (b) a fight with someone in a bar after having a few too many drinks, or (c) were picked up by the police for DUI with music bumping’ from their ride in the early morning hours.

Of course, sometimes what athletes do is humorous knucklehead behavior which causes us to shake our head and smile and other times their behavior is so weird and strange that we are left to wonder what color is the sky in their world. 

Below are twenty of the strangest sports stories from criminal blotters last year.

 20.      Time to Make the Donuts

Seattle Seahawks Rookie wide receiver Golden Tate instead of making a late night run to the border decided instead that he and a friend would stop in unannounced at the donut shop store in the bottom of the building where Tate lived to eat a few freshly baked doughnuts.  I know that doughnuts are delicious, but I wonder why Tate had such a strong craving for pastry at 3:00 in the morning.

Fortunately, the baker who emerged from the back room to see Tate and his accomplice smacking their gums with icing on their face didn’t wish to press charges against Tate. Tate told the media that he was warned by the police not to do it again and he called his actions a “foolish mistake.”

19.       Don’t you hate it when the valet messes with your music?

We all can appreciate getting upset and using a few choice words with a valet who tampers with your vehicle such as changing all your pre-set musical selections or grinding the gears of the car. 

Former Dallas Cowboys fullback Deon Anderson apparently gets really upset with valets.  Anderson apparently upset because he believed that a valet had messed with his car decided to put some fear in the heart of the valet by threatening him with a gun.

After waiving the gun in the face of the valet, Anderson tossed his gun in the shrubs nearby where the police later found the gun with a round in the chamber.  Anderson was subsequently charged with misdemeanor deadly conduct.

Why would Anderson leave his gun with the valet if he was so upset with how the valet treated his car?

18.       I Vaguely Remember That You Can’t Pack Your Gun in Your Luggage

Cleveland Browns Defensive End Robbie Smith was charged with carrying a gun in his luggage through airport security.  The AP reports that Smith was charged with a misdemeanor and that the maximum sentence for Smith if convicted was that he could spend a year in jail. 

I know what you are thinking; what makes this case so special because Smith is not the first professional athlete to forget about the loaded pistol in the luggage?

Smith’s teammate from the defensive line, nose tackle Shaun Rogers had just pled guilty and entered a diversionary program for carrying a gun in his luggage about a month earlier than Smith’s arrest.

Damn, I know us guys don’t talk much but really didn’t the topic come up at least once during film session, lunch or practice?

17.        I Feel the Need for Speed

Tyreke Evans apparently either bored after the Memorial Day barbecue or inspired by the racing that he saw on television got into his purple Mercedes and decided to race a buddy on Interstate 80 in California at speeds of up to 130 miles per hour.

The jams in his ride must have been good because Evans did not immediately pull over for police.  Through the magic of the internet you can vicariously enjoy the 13 minute high speed chase. 

The police apparently upset with Tyreke playing his music too loud was arrested at gunpoint.  Evans, pleading no contest to reckless driving, was sentenced to 80 hours of community service, ordered to take a driving course and lost his license for 30 days.

16.       Why Do I Have to Show My Driver’s License to Buy Cough Syrup?

In Houston, the abuse of the Codeine laced drinks known as Sip-Sip, Syrup, Player Potion and Purple Drank has been known for quite some time. 

However, the abuse of Sip-Sip received national attention among NFL fans when Green Bay Packer Defensive End Johnny Jolly was suspended for the entire 2010 season for the unlawful possession of more than 200 grams of Codeine and former Oakland Raider Quarterback and No. 1 overall draft pick Jamarcus Russell was arrested in his home for illegal possession of Codeine.

Now stores across the nation are now cracking down and asking for driver’s license whenever they sell Codeine.  Expect to be followed to your car if you decide to purchase 7-Up or Sprite with your cough medicine.

15.        The Thought Has Never Crossed My Mind

While I have been known to enjoy a cold beer at a ball game, I have to say I have never had so many beers that I ever thought about doing what Matthew Clemmens decided to do at the April 14 Philadelphia Phillies-Washington Nationals game. 

Clemmens and a friend were sitting behind off-duty police Captain Michael Vangelo and his two daughters, ages 15 and 11.  Clemmens and his friend were cursing up a storm with such gusto that they were spitting on Vangelo’s daughters.

Vangelo informed park security and Clemmens and his friend were told to leave the park.

Clemmens, after being ejected from the park, decided to express his displeasure by sticking his fingers down his throat and vomiting on Michael Vangelo and his 14 year-old daughter who were at the game.

Clemmens later pled guilty to assault, harassment and disorderly conduct; he was sentenced to a short stint in the work house, given two years of probation and given 50 hours of community service.

14.       You Just Wanted Her to Watch?

A former athlete being charged with prostitution generally would not catch my attention but when the athlete is former New York Giant and Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor and the prostitute is a 16 year old girl then the arrest becomes more significant.

However, what really got my attention about the case was the fact that Taylor’s legal team is taking the position that their client put on a condom before masturbating in front of the prostitute.

Always the innovator on the football field, Taylor is now innovating in the court room with the new legal strategy of arguing I’m not a dirty john who has sex with underage girls but rather just an odd dirty old man who is one step away from using a rain coat.

13.        I Thought If Anyone Had a Designated Driver it would Have Been . . . .

Sacramento Kings Co-Owner George Maloof who was arrested for DUI in Las Vegas.  In addition to the DUI charge, Maloof was also cited for speeding 20 miles over the posted speed limit, making illegal turns, driving without a valid license and not having proof of insurance.

Maloof was apologetic for his actions and attributed his busy lifestyle for not taking the time to get his license renewed.

Which of course begs the question; if Maloof is so busy owning the Palms hotel and casino you would think that he would have noticed that they have a car service for their high rollers.

12.        Cain versus Abel, the sequel

Yuksel Yesilova, Soccer Coach of Yurdu, was minding his business on the sidelines when he was stabbed six times from a rabid fan of the other team that had jumped down from the crowd. 

Fortunately Yuksel, who was stabbed in the stomach and hip five times, did not sustain any life-threatening injuries.  Unfortunately, the rabid crazed fan that attacked the coach turned out to be his brother, Murat Yesilova. 

Damn, you thought you had awkward conversation with family around the holidays.

11.        And you wonder Why Tickets Are So Expensive

The United States Attorney’s Office this fall indicted five former employees of the University of Kansas on federal charges of conspiring to steal somewhere between $3-5  million worth of tickets to KU athletic events over several years. 

The federal indictment alleges that the conspirators (two employees previously pled guilty):

  • Entered false information about tickets from being stolen,
  • Paid kickbacks to third parties to sell tickets to individuals and through ticket brokers.
  • Received kickbacks from ticket brokers and third parties that were converted to cash, and
  • Lied about their income.

Something tells me that the University of Kansas is not the only school with this problem.

10.       NASCAR Crime Prevention Program

An alleged murderer who had escaped from an Alabama prison is back in jail because of alert souvenir vendors at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Souvenir vendors alerted police to the suspicious activity of fugitive Michael Lynn Sherer who successfully traded a .22 caliber pistol for two NASCAR tickets.

When police questioned Sherer, he initially gave them the name of Thomas Lynn Smith, but he stumbled when asked to give his birth date.  Sherer was being held in connection to the death of Mr. Smith.   

Could karma be evening things out?

9.         The Case of the Red Panties

Again, your typical DUI will not get you on the list.  However when you are Damon Evans, a former Georgia Football star and the Athletic Director of Georgia, and the Georgia State Patrol finds you with an attractive young woman who is not your wife in the car after midnight with a pair of red panties between your legs after seeing your car swerve between lanes . . . well you have to end up on the list don’t you?

8.         15 Seconds of Fame?

A jury returned a guilty verdict against Karen Sypher, on charges that she threatened to reveal an affair she had with Louisville Basketball Coach Rick Pitino.  Sypher was also found guilty of lying to the FBI and falsely charging that Pitino raped her, when he refused to pay her.

Pitino acknowledged the affair with Sypher but steadfastly denied that he raped her.   Pitino testified that he and Sypher had a tryst at a restaurant after it closed but that the total encounter lasted less than 15 seconds.

Several weeks later, Pitino testified that Sypher called him to say that she was pregnant and that he was the father.  Pitino acknowledged that he paid Sypher $3,000 after she told him that she had no money for counseling or health care.

Of course, one has to wonder if Pitino initially agreed to pay the money to make sure no one found out that the encounter lasted only 15 seconds.

7.         Did Arenas Think He Was Aaron Burr?

Let’s see Gilbert Arenas gets into an argument over unpaid gambling debts totaling a few hundred dollars with his teammate Javaris Crittenton. 

In an effort to interject some levity into the dispute, Arenas brought several guns into the team locker room and set them near Crittenton’s locker with a sign telling him to “PICK 1”.   Crittenton apparently not appreciating Arenas’ humor decided to bring some of his guns into the locker room.

Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed before a duel occurred; both men subsequently received a slap on the wrist.

Arenas punctuated the silliness of actions during a pregame warm-up ritual in which he extended his index finger to pretend to shoot his teammates.

6.         Stop Pretending to be something you’re not, cuz’ You Got Mad Issues . . .

Baseball Closers are known for having fiery tempers and for being a little more tightly wound than the rest of us.

New York Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez goes to the head of his class for his outburst against his baby-mama’s dad this summer after a home game. 

The Police Complaint states that Rodriguez went into the family lounge of Citi Field and grabbed 58 year old Carlos Pena, he then repeatedly hit and banged his head against the stadium wall.

As a result of the incident, Rodriguez tore a ligament in his thumb and had to undergo season-ending surgery which in turn cost him approximately $3.14 million in salary.

Rodriguez received a suspended sentence as a result of the incident and was informed that he must undergo 52 weeks of anger management, which includes group and one-on-one sessions.

5.         I thought you were in jail already. . .

I know that justice sometimes can be slow, but Jayson Williams’s case was excruciatingly slow.

Williams shot his personal driver Costas Christofi with a shot-gun at a house party in February of 2002.  Williams maintained that he had no intention of shooting Christofi but simply accidently shot him when he snapped the shotgun close.

Williams went to trial in 2004 and was acquitted of aggravated manslaughter; the jury however convicted Williams of four counts related to the cover-up and could not reach a decision on the reckless manslaughter charge.

Williams’ retrial on the reckless manslaughter charge was set to begin on January 11.

Williams, apparently not content to stay home and get ready for the trial, got hammered and crashed his car.  According to police reports, Jayson’s blood alcohol content was .19.

4.         Do you think Boomer is going to say, “Look at that Meggett run?”

1991 Super Bowl hero, Dave Meggett was sentenced a 30-year prison sentence in South Carolina in November for a rape that occurred in January of 2009.

The victim testified that Meggett came to her home where he choked her and sexually assaulted her.  She said Meggett was mad at her because she owed Meggett money and she didn’t have the money to pay back Meggett.

Meggett’s lawyer argued to the court that the sex was consensual and that the woman agreed to have sex with Meggett to pay off her debt.

Meggett didn’t testify at his trial.

Of course had Meggett testified, Meggett might have had to answer questions concerning a 2006 sexual assault conviction, a pending 2008 sexual assault charge and an arrest concerning a sexual assault that occurred in Toronto in 1998.

3.         A son’s love for his mother has no bounds

Rumeal Robinson, who led Michigan to the NCAA men's basketball championship in 1989 and later played in the NBA, was convicted in federal court of bank bribery, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud and making a false statement to a financial institution. He faces up to 30 years in prison and more than a $1 million in fines.

Robinson stole the money for the usual goodies – Mercedes, BMWs, motorcycles, plasma TVs, a dog and strip club expenses.

Federal prosecutors say Robinson, with the help of a loan officer at a Des Moines Bank, also committed fraud by securing bogus loans up to $500,000 using a dummy company Megaladon Development, Inc. that was allegedly pursuing a land deal in Jamaica.

When Megaladon ran through its line of credit, Robinson convinced a business partner, Jorge Rodriquez, to put up his mother-in-law’s house for an additional $150,000 loan.

The cherry on top of the Megaladon fraud was Robinson scheming to sell his mother’s home in Cambridge, Mass., without her knowledge.

2.         A Public Service Announcement on the Danger of Drugs

Mixed martial arts fighter Jarrod Wyatt, 26, apparently under the influence of psychedelic drugs, killed his sparring partner Taylor Powell.

According to witnesses, Wyatt had become preoccupied with the notion that the end of the world was coming and that there would be a final struggle between God and the devil.

When police arrived at the home of Wyatt on March 21, Wyatt told responding officers that he saw the devil in Powell’s face and that “Satan was in that dude.”  Wyatt allegedly cut an 18-inch hole in Powell’s chest to remove his heart; Wyatt also cut off his victim’s tongue and removed a majority of Powell’s face.

Wyatt admitted that he cooked the body parts of Powell on his wood stove because he thought Powell was still alive and that he needed to “stop the devil.”

1.     You Know You Can Just Simply Walk Away and Ignore Her

Bruno Fernandes, the goalkeeper for Brazil’s Flamengo soccer team, has been charged with the kidnapping, mutilation and murder of Eliza Samudio.  Fernandes, who is married, had an affair with Samudio which resulted in the birth of a child.

In his first statement after his arrest, Fernandes expressed concern that because of his arrest he would be unable to play in the World Cup this year or in 2014.

While you can’t believe everything you read, the evidence against Fernandes appears to be pretty compelling.

Fernandes’ cousin who was part of the scheme has told police that Samudio was taken by force from a hotel in Rio de Janiero and later strangled in the city of Belo Horizonte.

After killing Samudio, her body was cut up and parts of her body were fed to dogs.  The remaining portions of Samudio’s body were buried under concrete.

The police have also stated that they found traces of Samudio’s blood in Fernandes car.

A few weeks prior to her disappearance, Samudio had forwarded several threatening messages from Fernandes to the police out of fear for her safety.

Currently, Brazil has no capital punishment but there has been a recent movement among certain politicians to reinstate the death penalty.

Fernandes should probably stop worrying about ever appearing in the World Cup and start worrying that he doesn’t become famous for something else.