Richard Sherman, N.F.L. Cornerback, Arrested


Richard Sherman, the free-agent cornerback who is one of the most visible stars in the N.F.L., was arrested early Wednesday morning in Redmond, Wash., and booked into jail after the police said he tried to break down a door to enter the house of his in-laws.

Sherman has been accused of “burglary domestic violence,” the police said, because he knows the people at the home, and there is no indication that he physically harmed any of its occupants.

Sherman, 33, who has been in a county jail in Seattle since Wednesday morning, has not been charged or arraigned. He will most likely appear in court on Thursday. Sherman does not have an agent, and members of his immediate family did not respond to phone calls. It was unclear on Wednesday evening whether Sherman had retained a lawyer.

The arrest occurred after several fraught hours that included a dispute between Sherman and his wife, Ashley, who eventually tried to remove their children from the couple’s home in Maple Valley, Wash., according to audio recordings of 9-1-1 calls and logs from a computer-aided dispatch system released by the King County Sheriff’s Department. Sherman was also involved in a car crash, the police said, and a physical confrontation with officers during his arrest.

In the first of two successive 9-1-1 calls Ashley made late Tuesday night, she described Sherman as “drunk and threatening to kill himself.” She told an operator that he was driving away from their home in his car, and that she believed he was headed to her parents’ house in Redmond, about 25 miles to the north.

According to the logs from the dispatch system, officers were sent to the couple’s home at 11:38 p.m. Tuesday, and they spoke to Sherman there. A half-hour later, his wife left their home in a car and Sherman drove after her, with officers following him.

After police intervened again, Sherman drove off in a different direction from his wife at around 1 a.m. Wednesday. The dispatch log provides no more updates on Sherman’s whereabouts or the actions of officers after 1:02 a.m.

Ron Mead, a captain with the Washington State Patrol, said at a news conference that at 1:26 a.m. the police received a report from a construction worker about a collision on Route 520, a state highway that runs through Redmond. The construction worker, according to Mead, said a car had been driven into a construction zone and struck a concrete barrier, then been driven off.

State troopers investigating the crash found Sherman’s car in a commercial parking lot about a half-mile from the construction zone. Mead said that there was extensive damage to the driver-side door and tire, and that ultimately the car could not be driven anymore.

The parking lot is about two miles from the home of Sherman’s in-laws. Darrell Lowe, chief of the Redmond Police Department, said it was believed that Sherman had traveled on foot from the parking lot to the home.

According to Lowe, officers were called to the home of Sherman’s wife’s parents shortly before 2 a.m. because Sherman was trying to enter by force. According to the police, four adults were present at the time.

Police said that they talked amiably with Sherman and that one officer knew Sherman from a prior job, where the officer worked as a valet. But when the officers tried to place Sherman under arrest, he walked away from them, according to Lowe. Sherman got into a physical confrontation with police officers and a police dog was deployed to help subdue him, Lowe said.

Lowe said that an officer had sustained minor scrapes and that Sherman went to a hospital with minor injuries on his lower leg and ankle.

Sherman did not gain entry to the home or have physical contact with anyone at the residence besides the officers, said Lowe, who added that Sherman had a “verbal altercation” with some of the people there before the police arrived. The burglary component of the booking charge was due to Sherman’s attempt to enter a home that was not his, Lowe said, and the domestic violence component was due to his relationship with the occupants of the home.

The police have also accused Sherman of malicious mischief because, they said, he damaged the door of the home.

The state troopers obtained a search warrant for a blood sample because they believed Sherman might have been driving under the influence, Mead said. The results from that search warrant were not available on Wednesday night.

Sherman’s wife, Ashley, told The Seattle Times on Wednesday: “At this time we’re going to make no statements, except he didn’t harm anybody. My kids were not harmed in the incident. He’s a good person, and this is not his character. We’re doing all right, just trying to get him out. I want people to know no one was injured.”

Sherman, a 10-year N.F.L. veteran, played his first seven seasons with the Seattle Seahawks and kept a home in Maple Valley, about a 20-minute drive from the Seahawks’ training facility, even after he joined the San Francisco 49ers in 2018. He spent much of past season on the injured reserve list.

Sherman is on the executive committee of the N.F.L. Players Association. In a statement Wednesday, the union said that it was aware that “one of our player leaders” had been arrested because of “an alleged domestic violence incident” and that it was monitoring the situation.

Sherman, a three-time All-Pro, became a free agent at the end of the 2020 season. He represented himself in his last contract negotiation, in 2018.

The N.F.L. said in a statement that it investigates any incident involving law enforcement to see if there is a violation of the league’s personal conduct policy.

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