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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Tampa woman alleges in suit Bucs Talib threatened to 'put a cap,' in her during taffic accident in 2010



Bucs cornerback Aqib Talib, who is scheduled to stand trial later this month in Dallas County on a felony charge of assault with a deadly weapon, threatened to shoot a woman following a minor traffic accident a few miles from One Buc Place in Dec. 2010, according to a lawsuit filed in Hillsborough County civil court.

But Talib’s attorney called it a ‘tale,’ concocted 15 months after the accident in an attempt to gain a monetary settlement from an NFL player.

The plaintiff, Betty Atwood, claims Talib threatened ‘to put a cap in (her)’ after he ‘negligently’ caused their vehicles to collide while traveling eastbound on Spruce Street near the intersection of Westshore Boulevard, according to the lawsuit filed March 2 in the civil division of Hillsborough County’s 13th Circuit Court.

Atwood said prior to the arrival of law enforcement, Talib threatened to physically harm her by saying, in a raised voice, “I’ll put a cap in you,’ which she interpreted to mean he intended to shoot her with a firearm.

Atwood is suing Talib for excess of $15,000 for physical injuries sustained in the accident as well as depression, anxiety and ‘severe emotional distress.’ 

Tampa police told the Tampa Bay Times Thursday they have no accident report of the incident alleged in the lawsuit. However, police don't file an incident report unless the accident involves bodily injury. 

Talib's attorney, Jay Reisinger, released a statement acknowledging a minor accident involving Atwood and his client took place, police were called and witnesses were interviewed. Reisinger claims Atwood never made statements such as the ones included in her lawsuit until she discovered that Talb played for the Bucs and decided to leverage a monetary settlement.

"Fifteen months ago, on December 9, 2010, Aqib Talib was involved in a very minor traffic accident involving Betty Atwood,'' Reisinger said. "Ms. Atwood placed a 911 call to report the accident, and was also interviewed by police at the scene of the accident. At no time during the 15 months since the accident has Ms. Atwood ever reported this alleged statement to the police.

"Further, we have witness statements confirming that Aqib never made a statement of this nature toward Ms. Atwood. Following the accident, Ms. Atwood discovered that Aqib played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  In order to leverage a substantial monetary settlement, she concocted a tale to increase her alleged damages.  Aqib is evaluating his legal options with respect to this false allegation. Aqib is confident that once all of the facts are known, this matter will be resolved favorably and in an expeditious fashion.''

Citing the sensitive nature of the lawsuit, Reisinger declined further comment.

Attempts to reach Atwood's attorneys were unsuccessful.

Talib's history of violence began almost as soon as he was drafted by the Bucs out of Kansas in 2008. 

The incident described in the civil suit filed by Atwood occurred nearly four months before Talib, 26, was arrested on charges on assault with a deadly weapon for his involvement in a shooting incident in Garland, Texas, in March 2011.

Police say that Talib pointed a 9mm handgun at the head of Shannon Billings, the live-in boyfriend of his sister, Saran Talib. He then attempted to pistol whip Billings before the gun was lost in the struggle, striking a fence and jamming.

That’s when police say Talib’s mother, Okolo, arrived at the scene and fired several shots at Billings with a .380 handgun. At some point, Aqib Talib gained possession of his mother’s gun and fired two shots at Billings. Okolo Talib also was indicted on a charge of assault with a deadly  weapon and felon with possession of a firearm.

Talib who was suspended the first game of the 2010 season for assaulting a St. Petersburg cab driver in August of 2009. Talib pleaded not guilty and the case dismissed after he entered a pretrial diversion program and agreed to take anger management classes.

Talib got into a fight with teammate Donald Penn during an off-season practice in May of 2009 and inadvertently hit teammate Tory Cox in the face with his helmet. Shortly after he was drafted, Talib was involved in a fight at the NFL Rookie Symposium in July 2008 with teammate Cory Boyd.

[Last modified: Thursday, March 8, 2012 7:52pm]


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