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Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Aqib Talib arrested, accused of punching cabbie

ST. PETERSBURG — Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib is accused of resisting arrest without violence and simple battery after police say he punched a cab driver in the neck and ear while riding from a St. Petersburg club to a Tampa hotel.

Aqib Talib, 23, posted $300 bail Thursday morning and was released from the Pinellas County jail after he was arrested by the Florida Highway Patrol. Both charges are misdemeanors.

Talib was booked about 1 a.m. and released about 6 a.m., records show.

An FHP report said Talib hit taxi driver David Duggan in the right ear and neck with a closed fist. The incident happened at Gandy Boulevard and Interstate 275 at 11:10 p.m.

FHP Trooper John Ryan responded to a call that a cab driver was receiving verbal threats. When he arrived at the scene, Talib and two other men were passengers in the taxi, the report said. Ryan told Talib three times to get out of the car and Talib was uncooperative.

The report also noted that there was an "indication of alcohol influence."

Duggan said he had picked the men up outside Nova 535, a venue that hosts private parties at 535 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N, and charged the men $50 to take them to a hotel on Spruce Street in Tampa.

"It was like someone hit me upside the head with a hammer," said Duggan, 47, of St. Petersburg, who had been driving with Independent Cab for only three days.

"He hit me so hard he knocked my hat off my head," Duggan told the St. Petersburg Times.

Duggan described Talib as the most intoxicated of the three men in the vehicle. One of the other men, Duggan said, restrained Talib after Duggan was hit.

It's unclear whether the other two passengers were also football players.

"I swear, I thought I was being robbed," he said.

After the incident, Duggan was taken to Bayfront Medical Center.

"I don't have any insurance and they should have to pay," Duggan said. He has called the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but hasn't received a response.

The Bucs had no immediate comment on the matter.

Aqib Talib played for the University of Kansas and was the first-round draft pick for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2008. He will be a key component of the Bucs' revamped defense, which puts a great deal of responsibility on its cornerbacks. Talib tied Ronde Barber for the team lead last season with four interceptions.

But Talib also has less celebrated events in his past.

In May, Talib was involved in a fight during a team practice and hit bystander and teammate Torrie Cox with his helmet. He was attempting to hit offensive tackle Donald Penn. Cox, who was trying to break up the fracas, needed multiple stitches in his face.

Talib also was involved in a fight with then-teammate Cory Boyd at the NFL's rookie symposium last year. Among the topics covered at the symposium was personal conduct.

He has been fined by the Bucs multiple times for various reasons. At Kansas, Talib reportedly tested positive multiple times for marijuana use.

This is the second dose of unfortunate off-the-field news for the Bucs this week. Safety Tanard Jackson on Tuesday was suspended four games for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Aqib Talib arrested, accused of punching cabbie 08/20/09 [Last modified: Friday, August 21, 2009 6:44pm]
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