Friday, August 17, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs rookie Dominique Robertson deals with fallout from shooting

Bucs rookie offensive lineman Dominique Robertson is recovering from two gunshot wounds sustained early Thursday morning in California, but there are lingering questions as to why the sheriff's office in a neighboring county detained him for questioning after he was released from the hospital Friday night.

Robertson's attorney, Zulu Ali, said his client was a "victim" and a "bystander" in the shooting, which Robertson told the San Bernardino County sheriff''s office took place outside an apartment complex around 3 a.m. in San Bernardino County, the same county as Loma Linda Hospital, where he was treated.

Robertson was released from the hospital at about 6 p.m. Friday and was taken to a Riverside County sheriff's station for questioning until 11:30 p.m.

Ali said Saturday that Robertson, 22, had a "clean background. … This kid doesn't have a history." That turns out not to be the case.

Robertson was arrested in January 2015 in Carrollton, Ga., where he played his final year of college football at a small school, West Georgia. He was initially charged with a felony count of obstruction and misdemeanor counts of assault and battery. In July 2015, he entered a guilty plea to lesser charges of misdemeanor obstruction of an officer and misdemeanor simple assault, and was placed on 24 months' probation, according to the Carroll County Clerk's Office. He remains under probation on those charges.

The Carrollton Times-Georgian quoted an arrest report in reporting that an off-duty police officer was trying to disperse a crowd after a fight at an apartment complex when Robertson and a football teammate, Jamal Carr, refused to leave.

According to the report, Robertson "told the officer there would be repercussions because he was alone." When additional officers arrived, the two ran away, and Carr was apprehended quickly. Robertson, identified as being 6 feet 5 and 315 pounds, was located by another officer as he tried to enter his apartment and resisted as he was being handcuffed and "shoved the officer against the wall with his back." Robertson was arrested after a brief struggle; the officer tore a tendon in his leg and was taken to a hospital for medical attention, according to the report.

Asked about the arrest Sunday, Ali said he had been told that Robertson had no convictions on his record. Robertson has not spoken publicly since the incident last week. West Georgia allowed him to play as part of the team last season.

Ali said he plans to file a complaint against the Riverside sheriff's office, saying that Robertson asked for his attorney after being detained and was denied that right, and that deputies also withheld water and medication.

Riverside isn't confirming it interviewed him, as is the office's policy for ongoing criminal investigations; it's known he was detained because his attorney volunteered the information.

"It's absolutely odd," Ali said of Robertson's treatment. "We're definitely going to file a complaint and probably a lawsuit against them."

Robertson said he was injured in San Bernardino County, but that county's deputies went to the apartment complex in question and could find no evidence of a crime scene or witnesses who had heard gunshots or any disturbance.

Ali said Robertson was "with a friend" at the time of the shooting and "was taken to the hospital," but police weren't involved until he was at the hospital. Ali said Robertson didn't know who shot him, wasn't "involved or implicated in any way, at the wrong place at the wrong time, I guess."

The initial report said Robertson had two gunshot wounds to the leg, though police have since described his injuries as to his "back, buttock and legs." The Bucs issued a statement Saturday saying that they were gathering information and that their primary concern was for his "health and well-being."

Robertson signed with the Bucs as an undrafted rookie and is competing for a backup job as a guard. He is the nephew of Bucs offensive line coach George Warhop. Rookies report for training camp July 25. It's unknown whether his injuries would limit him.

AROUND THE LEAGUE: Authorities found Jaguars running back Denard Robinson asleep at the wheel by authorities as his car sank into a pond in Jacksonville early Sunday. Robinson and a woman asleep in the passenger seat were helped out at 4:22 a.m. Police said Robinson, 25, wasn't impaired. No DUI charges were filed. Robinson tweeted Tuesday that he "should not have been driving that late or when I was that tired." His Chevy Impala was totaled. The team said it "is thankful that nobody was injured." … Former Dolphins and Browns receiver Davone Bess pleaded not guilty to a charge of unlawful flight from a law-enforcement vehicle near his suburban Phoenix home. According to charging documents, when Bess, 30, was stopped by police June 19 for driving without his headlights on, he pointed his finger at officers and seemed to pretend firing a weapon, then fled and drove home. … The Lions cut linebacker Stephen Tulloch, last season's leading tackler with 107.

Information from Times wires was used in this report. Contact Greg Auman at [email protected] and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.

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