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Hernando's Darren Hambrick could have charges dropped

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Tue. February 19, 2013 | Matt Baker | Email

Hernando LB Darren Hambrick has agreed to go into a pre-trial intervention program that could result in charges being dropped from his December arrest.

Prosecutors agreed to place Hambrick into a pre-trial intervention program. His charges will be dropped if he completes community service, attends an anger management class and pays a fine and court costs.

If he doesn’t, prosecutors will move forward with the case, said Assistant State Attorney Shannon Laviano.

Hambrick, 19, qualified for the program because he does not have a prior arrest record, and the victim approved, Laviano said.

“As long as the victim is on board, it’s something that’s in our discretion,” she said.

Hambrick has cooperated with authorities since his arrest, Laviano said. Even if he completes the pre-trial program, the arrest will remain on his record.

Hambrick – the son of the former Pasco star and NFL alum of the same name - was one of the North Suncoast’s top pass rushers during his career with the Leopards. He helped Hernando make it to the playoffs in three straight years for the first time in program history and signed to play college football at Nebraska-Kearney earlier this month.

According to Hernando County Sheriff's Office report, Hambrick and his on-again, off-again girlfriend began talking in his room at about 10 p.m. Dec. 18 when the conversation escalated.

The girlfriend, whom the Times is not naming because of the nature of the charges, told police Hambrick grabbed her and spoke to her "in a violent tone of voice" before holding her down and biting her. She said Hambrick "did not stop until she was in tears from the pain," the arrest report states.

Authorities observed bruises on her neck and left arm and a semicircle mark on her right arm.

Two days later, Hambrick acknowledged in a written statement to investigators that he got “overly rough” when he grabbed the woman while they were arguing. Hambrick said he wanted to keep her from leaving so they could work things out. He was arrested that night and released the next day on $100 bond.

Times staff writer Tony Marrero contributed to this report.

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