TAMPA — As if the undisciplined season the Bucs are having couldn’t get anymore embarrassing, it did with reports that police believe running back LeGarrette Blount led a severe attack on a couple after the Buccaneers September 11th opening day loss to the Lions.
What makes the assault even worse is that according to the report, the couple were wearing Buccaneers merchandise and appear to be fans.
Can you say PR nightmare?
If the allegations are true, which right now the evidence suggesting it is exists, then this is a giant black eye on an already nasty season for the Bucs.
But more importantly, it will be the first documented off field issue for Blount, who made a name for himself before punching up stats by punching out fellow players.
Blount served a severe college suspension his senior year at Oregon when on opening night he punched out a Boise State player after the game on the field and proceeded to taunt the crowd for it. He then went undrafted but was signed by the Titans before he punched another player after a practice.
But these latest allegations come more then a year later and involve civilians, not players and happened in a hotel parking lot, not on the gridiron.
According to the report, a 34 year old man and his girlfriend, both in Buccaneers apparel, drove their 2008 Toyota pickup into the Visconti at International Drive apartments not far from Raymond James Stadium. The pickup then hit the mirror on a silver 2005 Ford Expedition SUV, next to which Blount and two other men were standing. The victim did not want to stop next to the Expedition because the pickup would block other traffic. The three men got into the Expedition and drove around the pickup, cutting it off.
The men proceeded to get out of the SUV and one of them “reached in and punched (the pickup driver) several times on his eye, nose and jaw.” This according to the report. The victim then “realized a second male was on his hood and was jumping onto his windshield and ultimately shattering the glass.”
The couple eventually ran into the building to hide and stop the severe bleeding from their wounds. Blount’s sister dialed 911 to report a hit-and-run.
When police arrivied and inspected the pickup, a detective thought the damage to the windshield looked “very peculiar.” The officer stated that “it appeared as if someone did a cannon ball into the windshield at the driver side of the window.” The officer also noted that the damage was the “size of a grown man’s rear end.” Police decided that damage could not have happened during a crash.
As ror physical damage to the victim, he told police he feared he had a broken nose because he was spitting blood. He “also stated that his jaw is misaligned and he believes his jaw bone is swollen or displaced because he cannot chew food because his teeth no longer line up,” this also according to the police report.
Now according to the report, the victims described a “third man” (later identified as Blount) was involved but never struck anyone. Rather they state he was directing and leading the actions taking place.
If these allegations are true, and both sides are not known at this point, Blount is in serious trouble not only with the Bucs but with the NFL. Roger Goodell looks down on players hitting players in a violent fashion, you can only imagine he’s not tickled by a player beating the fan and the consumer.
When contacted, Blount’s only statement on the allegations were “Ah, man.”
The Bucs take on the Jaguars in Jacksonville Sunday and as of now, Blount is starting.