Ricky Williams Questioned, Frisked by Police in Video for Alleged Trespassing

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 21, 2017

HOUSTON, TX - MAY 01:  Former NFL running back Ricky Williams waits to throw the first pitch of a game between the Houston Astros and the Seattle Mariners at Minute Maid Park on May 1, 2015 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

A video was released on Jan. 20 that shows Tyler, Texas, police questioning and frisking former NFL running back Ricky Williams on Jan. 11 after alleged suspicious activity in the area.

Nicholas Parco of the New York Daily News passed along details of the encounter between Williams, who adamantly stated his innocence, and the officers. Police searched him for weapons after receiving a report of somebody "hopping fences and loitering in a nearby backyard."

The 1998 Heisman Trophy winner denied being the fence-jumper, and the Daily News noted that one of the officers replied: "Here's the thing. I know more than what you think I know. I know that you were in the back of somebody's yard back there. Is there a reason you were in somebody's yard?"

Williams said he didn't enter any backyards. And when officers told him a construction worker said he had attempted to steal a tape measure in a parking lot, Williams said he was returning it to its owner. The police eventually allowed him to leave without charging him.

Roy Maynard of the Tyler Morning Telegraph provided an explanation Wednesday about the incident from Tyler Police Department public information officer Don Martin.

"We feel that our officers did a professional job and did the proper job," he said. "Bottom line, if this person had not gone back into an area and acted in a suspicious manner the way he did, then this never would have happened."

Meanwhile, the 39-year-old longtime running back relayed his side of the story during an appearance on KLBJ's Dudley and Bob with Matt Show, which the Daily News transcribed.

"They had me put my hands behind my back. They didn't cuff me. They had me take everything out of my pockets, and they started questioning me," Williams said. "I started to get upset. They told me to calm down. I said, 'You don't know what it's like to be a black man, and it's not the first time.'"

TMZ also relayed comments from Williams on The Tomorrow Show with Keven Undergaro, where Williams discussed his treatment by authorities.

"I'm a quirky person. ... and it's kinda dangerous to be black and quirky unless you're famous," Williams said. "Then you can get away with it."

Williams, a California native who starred at the University of Texas, was in Tyler for the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award banquet. He told the Tyler Morning Telegraph his stay in the city was "kind of fun" aside from the police confrontation.