State attorney plans to file formal charges against Aqib Talib
Update 7:19 p.m. Talib's attorney, Ron Hanes, said he anticipates his client will plead not guilty on the misdemeanor battery charge filed today by the state attorney's office.
"We are pleased that they dismissed the charge involving resisting arrest, since we were confident the charge really had no merit," Hanes said. "We will move forward in defending the battery charge. Obviously there are a lot of options that are available and the charge is only a misdemeanor so we will work with the state and move forward and seeing the best resolution we can get on behalf of the client."
Update 4:12 p.m. The Bucs say they were aware misdemeanor battery charges were going to be filed today against Aqib Talib, but expect him to make the trip to London.
Bucs spokesman Jeff Kamis said they will "continue to monitor the situation, and let the legal process run its course," so there will be no discipline from the team at this time.
The state attorney plans to file formal charges of misdemeanor battery this afternoon against Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib for allegedly striking a cab driver while a passenger in late August.
Talib was arrested late Aug. 19 on charges of simple battery and resisting arrest without violence after the Florida Highway Patrol said he punched a cab driver (David Duggan) in the neck and ear while riding from a St. Petersburg club to a Tampa hotel.
Assistant state attorney Richard Ripplinger told the Times Thursday there was enough evidence to go forward. Ripplinger said there's no travel restrictions, so Talib can go to London for Sunday's game against the Patriots.
The next step would be an arraignment, which Ripplinger said could happen within three-to-four weeks. If convicted, the charge is punishable up to one year in county jail. Talib was unvailable for comment.
"We believe (the cab driver) was hit," Ripplinger said. "There's been no explanation that the cab driver did anything that caused him to get hit while driving on the interstate."
Ripplinger said Talib was not charged with resisting arrest, saying the evidence suggests it had more to do with his sobriety. Talib "had a lot to drink and was possibly asleep," Ripplinger said.
Ripplinger said there was no indications from anyone that there was any verbal exchange between Talib and Duggan; "Alcohol was a sufficient explanation for what happened, more than anything," Ripplinger said.
Talib has started all six games for the Bucs and has three interceptions.
When Talib was first arrested, GM Mark Dominik said they had been in contact with the league office, and whatever decision is made, "the commissioner's decision supersedes anything the club does at this time."
-- JOE SMITH