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Bucs owner Glazer: Williams incident a 'distraction'

TAMPA — Bucs receiver Mike Williams was the victim Sunday night in the stabbing that sent him to the hospital and had his brother in jail Tuesday facing a felony charge of aggravated battery.

But police painted a picture of a crime scene far different from the "accidental" story Williams told them. And Bucs co-chairman Joel Glazer, speaking with the media at the NFL owners meetings in Orlando, said the team is continuing to investigate what happened Sunday and doesn't like the continued distractions Williams has caused with off-field problems this offseason.

"It's not something we'd like to be part of the organization," Glazer said. "It distracts from the team and the positive things we're doing. It's something we're monitoring and getting more information (on). We'll see where it all goes."

Williams, 26, is entering the second year of a $40 million contract he signed last summer, but the team could release him with negligible salary-cap implications, so his future with the Bucs remains uncertain. The team has already made sweeping changes, including the release of some of its most tenured players, in response to a 4-12 season in 2013.

Glazer said the team's reputation in the Tampa community is very important, and a few actions can take away from the positive deeds done by most players.

"As an organization, we have put a real emphasis on off-the-field activities, what we expect of our players," he said. "We expect nothing but the highest standards. We're going to stick to that. We want to be an organization the community is proud of. … What this does, what any bad news does, is overshadow all the great work, all the hard work of all the other players. We have 50-some-odd players doing great things. We'd rather that be the focus."

Williams had initially told police the stabbing to his left thigh, by his brother Eric Baylor, 23, was accidental and the result of horseplay, but the HCSO "probable cause statement" tells a different story after police talked with several witnesses and took evidence from the scene.

Baylor and Williams "became involved in a physical altercation," the report said, during which "(Baylor) obtained a knife and intentionally stabbed (Williams) in the anterior portion of his left thigh near the knee. The victim suffered a puncture wound and was taken by ambulance to the hospital where stitches were required to close the wound."

The report goes on to say that "witnesses at the scene testified and observed the defendant with the knife during the fight."

A judge set a $1,000 bail Tuesday morning for Baylor, who turned himself in Monday night after an arrest warrant for aggravated battery/domestic violence. Baylor also was ordered to have no contact with Williams or any other witnesses to the incident.

Baylor's private defense attorney, Frank Fernandez, said Baylor, of Buffalo, had no criminal record and surrendered voluntarily. He asked that the judge release Baylor on his own recognizance, noting that his investigation indicated that the stabbing might have been an accident.

Heinrich responded that the arrest report contained no information indicating the stabbing was accidental. He then set bail at $1,000; Baylor remained in custody at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Bucs coach Lovie Smith, who talked to Williams on Monday, was asked about him in Orlando and had a more sympathetic response than Glazer. "The information I've got is that Mike is a victim," he said, reiterating that the team will continue to collect information. "You can't blame a guy for being a victim. Hopefully, we can get past this type of thing."

Times staff writer Dan Sullivan contributed to this report.

Bucs owner Glazer: Williams incident a 'distraction' 03/25/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 7:15pm]
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