Friday, January 19, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs WR Mike Williams' brother turns himself in on felony charge in stabbing

TAMPA — Sworn statements from witnesses and evidence collected by investigators, as well as two 911 calls pleading for an ambulance and police, contradict the story Bucs receiver Mike Williams told Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputies about how he was stabbed in the thigh by his brother at his rented Avila home.

Williams, 26, was taken by ambulance to St. Joseph's Hospital and treated and released for his injury Sunday. An arrest warrant was issued for his brother, 23-year-old Eric Baylor, on a felony count of aggravated battery/domestic violence.

Baylor turned himself in at the Orient Road jail. He was arrested at 10 p.m. Monday, booked at 11:40 and held overnight with no bond on a second-degree felony charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Baylor was listed at 6 feet and 280 pounds on the arrest report, which showed him with a Buffalo address.

Williams told police that he was stabbed accidentally, ''during a wrestling match." But sheriff's spokeswoman Cristal Bermudez Nunez said witness accounts differed from Williams' version when sworn statements were taken.

Two 911 calls released Monday afternoon paint a picture of a dire situation in which Williams needed medical attention as well as police intervention for a stabbing.

On the first, a male voice says, "I need an ambulance and the cops. A Buccaneer just got stabbed in the leg."

911 operator: "Somebody got stabbed?''

Caller: "Yes.'

On the second call, he says, "I need an ambulance and the police."

911 operator: "You need ambulance?''

Caller: "And the police to Avila.''

911 operator: "What's going on?'

Caller: "Uh, a man just stabbed by his brother."

In the background, another male voice says, "We got to go! Look at this (expletive)! Look at this (expletive)!"

At approximately 5 p.m. Sunday, police responded to Williams' home in the gated community of Avila at 17027 Candeleda De Avila in northwest Hillsborough County. By then Baylor had left the scene and his whereabouts were unknown to police at the time.

Bucs general manager Jason Licht said Monday morning, 18 hours after the incident, the team had not heard from Williams, despite reaching out to him with the primary concern being to verify his safety.

Licht, attending the NFL owners meetings in Orlando, said he is still collecting facts and does not want to comment until he knows more.

Monday night, Bucs coach Lovie Smith said he had talked with Williams, but provided no details.

"Obviously our primary focus is making sure he's okay," Licht said during a break at the meetings. "We know he's been treated and released. We just want to make sure he's okay. We've reached out to Mike. We've yet to hear from him. From what I understand, he was treated and released. That's a good start."

Last month, Williams made headlines for a misdemeanor arrest and for $43,000 damage done to a home he was renting in a gated community in Lutz. A fourth-round draft pick by the Bucs in 2010 out of Syracuse, Williams also faces trespassing and criminal mischief charges after an incident in December and has a hearing set for Thursday.

Licht said Williams had to keep his name out of the news for the wrong reasons. Seeing him now drawing more attention, even as the victim, Licht said he was disappointed.

"Disappointed, just that we had a player in that situation that could have been seriously injured," he said. "Our primary focus is making sure he's okay. We're gathering all the facts. We know about as much as you right now. Before I make any comment, I want to know what the situation was. I don't know any other facts right now."

Asked if he was surprised to have not heard from Williams after the injury, Licht said, "I'm sure he's got a lot of things going on, and we have a lot of things going on right here. We do want to find out how he is health-wise and where his mind-set is."

Before Sunday's stabbing, Williams' future with the Bucs was in question, eight months after he signed a six-year, $40 million extension with $8.4 million in base salaries from 2013-15 guaranteed. But $5.2 million of that in 2015 is tied to Williams being on the Bucs roster the third day of the new league year. That means Tampa Bay would not suffer much in salary cap penalties by cutting Williams and would only owe him the $1.2 million in base salary for this season.

It's not the first time he has had trouble at his home. When he lived in a 5,400-square-foot home in Lutz, there were at least five calls to 911 from June to September last year, a lawsuit and threats of eviction. Williams agreed in September to pay more than $43,000 in damages (plus attorney fees), extend his lease by one month (at $6,000) and surrender a $3,600 security deposit.

"There's a pattern here and it's disturbing," Smith said last month at the NFL combine in Indianapolis. "No one is bigger than this football team. He has to understand that."

 
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