Friday, February 4, 2011
Albert Haynesworth accused in Virginia
ESPN.com news services
Washington Redskins defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth has been accused of simple assault and a summons notice has been issued by authorities in Virginia, police said Friday.
Police say he threw a punch at a fellow motorist Wednesday in a Washington, D.C., suburb.
Fairfax County authorities said arrangements have been made through Haynesworth's attorney to meet with them to receive a summons-releasable warrant sometime next week.
Haynesworth's agent, Chad Speck, said Friday the player had yet to speak to police or prosecutors.
Haynesworth, 29, allegedly threw a punch to the nose of Joel Velazques, 38, of Leesburg, Va.
Velazques told ESPN that after their vehicles jockeyed for road space in Reston, Va., a person he recognized as Haynesworth got out of a Ford F-150 truck with Tennessee license plates and confronted Velazques and punched him in the nose before taking off.
Speck said the allegations are false.
"Only one side of this story has been told at this point in time," Speck said. "If contacted by the authorities, Albert will certainly cooperate in any way."
Simple assault is punishable in Virginia by not more than a year in jail and a fine of $2,500 or less.
Redskins owner Daniel Snyder said Friday that he had not had any contact with Haynesworth or his representative, and didn't know whether general manager Bruce Allen or coach Mike Shanahan had been in touch with them, either.
Snyder, who was in Dallas for the Super Bowl, said he didn't know all the facts.
"We'll see what happens," he said.
A Redskins executive told The Washington Post the team had not heard about the incident.
"This is the first I'm hearing about this," Tony Wyllie, Redskins senior vice president, told the Washington newspaper in a phone interview from Dallas, where he was attending Super Bowl events with owner Daniel Snyder. "At this time, we need to gather information."
Velazques said he followed Haynesworth but lost him along the way, but he did call 911. Fairfax County police eventually were called, and Velazques gave a statement to them.
"This man, who actually provoked the situation himself, recognized Albert and is now simply trying to turn it into his 15 minutes of fame and get, we can only assume, some money," Speck said. "Albert did not assault this man and looks forward to his day in court to refute these ridiculous allegations."
Velazques said Haynesworth came to the driver's side window of his car, and after Velazques lowered his window, Haynesworth said to him twice, "You're not so tough now," and then punched him in the side of his nose.
Velazques said he was treated at a local hospital, where it was determined he suffered a contusion to his nose but it was not broken.
Officer Shelley Broderick told The Post the driver of a 1994 Honda Civic reportedly issued a "non-verbal hand gesture" to a pickup driver behind him before the two stopped for a light at an intersection at about 9:16 a.m. ET Wednesday. The Honda driver had thought the pickup was tailgating, Broderick told the newspaper.
Haynesworth, a two-time All-Pro, has had his share of trouble while with the Redskins. He repeatedly clashed with coach Mike Shanahan and was suspended without pay for the final four games of the season for "conduct detrimental to the club."
He has played only 20 games for the team since he was signed in 2009 to a seven-year, $100 million contract, with $41 million in guaranteed money.
Haynesworth isn't the only Redskins player to be in trouble with the law recently. In December, defensive lineman Joe Joseph was arrested on charges of driving under the influence less than 24 hours after making his NFL debut.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.