As of Tuesday afternoon, the Garland Police Department has issued a felony arrest warrant for Bucs CB Aqib Talib and his mother Okolo Talib. Okolo turned herself into police custody Tuesday morning and Talib is scheduled to turn himself in later this week on behalf of the charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. His bail will be set at $25,000.
"We are deeply troubled by the serious charges filed against Aqib Talib," said Bucs general manager Mark Dominik. "Due to current labor circumstances, we will withhold any further comment or action."
Talib and his mother were charged with aggravated assault with deadly weapon. The charges are second degree felonies and could call for prison time of 5-20 years.
According to a report in the Dallas Morning News, Talib was involved in a shooting in Garland, Texas that took place on March 21. Talib, who has been rehabbing a torn hip ligament this offseason at his home in the Dallas area, was in an altercation with his sister, mother and his sister's boyfriend. The report says that two guns were involved and at least five shots were fired.
Talib has been described by the Garland Police Department's incident report as a "person of interest" and could be arrested and charged with discharging a firearm within a municipality, which is a class A misdemeanor, or aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, which is a second-degree felon, pending an investigation.
According to the police report, Talib allegedly tried to pistol-whip his sister Saran's boyfriend, Shannon Billings, and then used his mother's pistol and fired several shots at Billings as he fled the scene on foot. Billings was involved in a domestic dispute with Saran, who called 911 and her mother for help. Billings was arrested by while standing at a nearby residence. Police officers revealed that Billings was a suspect in two pending, related family-violence offenses involving Saran, which led to his arrest.
Billings had taken Aqib Talib's gun after a struggle and thrown it in a nearby trash can. According to the police report, Talib's mother, Okolo, fired three shots towards Billings as he fled on foot. Witnesses corroborated Billings' story.
This would not be the first anger-related instance for Talib, who was selected by the Buccaneers in the first round in the 2008 NFL Draft. Talib was involved in an altercation with teammate Cory Boyd in the NFL Rookie Symposium. The next year, Talib was involved in a helmet-swinging incident aimed at left tackle Donald Penn. Talib swung his helmet and inadvertently hit cornerback Torrie Cox, which opened a gash on the player's face.
In August 2009, Talib was arrested and charged with simple battery and resisting arrest after allegedly assaulting cab driver David Duggan. The case was later settled monetarily and Talib was forced to do 15 hours of community service and undergo eight hours of anger management, which forced him to miss the 2009 season opener due to a suspension from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Talib violated that suspension by attending the game at Raymond James Stadium in a luxury suite.
Last year, Talib was involved in a verbal confrontation with officials following the team's loss at Baltimore.
According to the Dallas Morning News, the ouctome of Talib's legal situation will come down to whether the Garland police believe Talib was shooting at Billings, simply firing in the air to scare him away or if he was even shooting one of the two weapons at all.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers declined to make an official statement on behalf of the organization on Monday. That was keeping in line with the stance other teams have taken lately in regards to player arrests. During the NFL lockout a few players around the league have gotten into legal trouble including the Packers' Johnny Jolly and Patriots' Brandon Meriweather. Green Bay and New England did not release statements and the Bucs were following suit by staying quiet.
Complicating the issue from the team's perspective is no staff member with the Buccaneers is allowed to speak to Talib during the lockout. Dominik and head coach Raheem Morris are not allowed to speak to the players, and in this case, find out Talib's side of the story. The organization also can not lend any legal assistance or advice that was normal prior to the lockout.