New England cornerback Alfonzo Dennard was arrested Thursday and accused of drunken driving in Nebraska while on probation for assaulting a police officer, the second Patriots player to get in serious legal trouble this summer.
Dennard’s early-morning arrest in Lincoln, Neb., where he was a college star for the Cornhuskers, came 15 days after Aaron Hernandez was charged with murder and three days after Patriots owner Robert Kraft said the club will “be looking at our procedures and auditing how we do things” with regard to character reviews.
Dennard’s arrest is his second in 15 months. He hasn’t served a 30-day jail sentence for the assault outside a Lincoln bar on April 21, 2012. That is scheduled to begin next March. He also was sentenced to two years of probation.
“The New England Patriots are extremely disappointed to learn of Alfonzo Dennard’s arrest. We take this matter very seriously and are working to get more information on the incident,” the team said in a statement.
Dennard was pulled over while driving just before 2 a.m. and failed a field sobriety test, police said. A phone listing for Dennard couldn’t be found.
Police spokeswoman Katie Flood said he was taken to a detoxification center but not jailed. He also was accused of refusing a chemical test and a driving infraction.
She said a final decision on the charges likely will be made by the Lincoln City Attorney’s Office before the Aug. 12 court date assigned to Dennard.
Hernandez, a star tight end, was arrested on June 26 and charged with murder in the killing of Boston semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty.
The Patriots cut Hernandez after he was arrested and before the charges were announced.
EX-CHEERLEADER WINS SUIT
Ex-Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader Sarah Jones won a defamation lawsuit after a jury in Covington, Ky., ruled against a gossip website in a case that has been watched by First Amendment experts around the country.
Sarah was awarded $338,000 in damages after the jury found that posts about her on the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based website thedirty.com in 2009 were substantially false. The jury of eight women and two men also found website operator Nik Richie acted with malice or reckless disregard in posting the submissions he said were anonymous.
One post alleged Jones had sex with every Bengals player, and the other said she probably had two sexually transmitted diseases.
Richie had denied any malice and said that he was not required to fact-check anonymous submissions before posting them.
“I’m not disappointed in the result, I’m just disappointed in the judge,” he said.
GOODELL CAN BE QUERIED
A judge in Dallas reversed an earlier ruling and said that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell can be questioned by attorneys for ticket-holders who sued after they were displaced when seats weren’t properly installed for the 2011 Super Bowl at Cowboys Stadium.
The ruling issued by U.S. Magistrate Judge Renee Toliver states that Goodell must give a deposition at NFL headquarters in New York no later than Aug. 5.
About 1,250 temporary seats at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington were deemed unsafe just hours before the Green Bay Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, 31-25. That forced about 850 ticket-holders to move to new seats, and 400 others to watch from standing-room locations.