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Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib reaches settlement with cab driver he's charged with hitting, avoids civil lawsuit

Bucs cornerback Aqib Talib, charged with punching a cab driver, has reached a settlement with the man, thus avoiding a civil lawsuit.

Though David Duggan, 48, of St. Petersburg said Friday that he can't disclose the amount, it's apparently sizable.

"Put it this way: If I play it smart, I'll be set," he said.

Duggan also has changed his mind in the criminal case. He said he will recommend to the State Attorney's Office that Talib, facing a misdemeanor battery charge, be allowed to enter a pretrial intervention program that would lessen the sentence.

Talib, 23, was arrested Aug. 19 after Duggan said he was struck in the neck and ear with a closed fist while driving Talib from a St. Petersburg club to a Tampa hotel. In November, Talib's lawyers entered a written plea of not guilty.

While Duggan initially resisted the pretrial intervention program, he now says he wants to move on and Talib's lawyers have told him their client is "really apologetic."

"I feel for him that he made a big mistake … but I have no animosity toward him," Duggan said. "I feel he paid his debt to me and society, and the man is really sorry. And he showed that in the civil matter.

"I just want to put this behind me and hope he has a better football career and not make another mistake."

Assistant state attorney Richard Ripplinger said Talib's attorneys have not filed an application for a pretrial intervention, but it appears the state would be open to it. It's a standard practice in such cases in which a defendant has no prior criminal record and the alleged victim consents.

Ripplinger said such programs include community service, among other things, and with Talib's case, it would have to include anger management. The next pretrial hearing is scheduled for Jan. 14.

Duggan said he hasn't worked since the incident and still has a bulging disc and a herniated disc with medical expenses "well over" $10,000.

Duggan said he plans to start a carpet-cleaning business with his settlement money. He also said he's going to Hawaii for New Year's and hopes to buy a house, among other things.

"I'm going to get a new iPhone," he said. "I've always wanted one."

The Bucs and Talib, the team's first-round pick in 2008, haven't commented on the case throughout the legal process and continued that on Friday.

Duggan said he still hasn't spoken with Talib, and the Bucs haven't contacted him.

"Season tickets would be nice," he said, joking. "But I can afford my own now."

Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib reaches settlement with cab driver he's charged with hitting, avoids civil lawsuit 12/18/09 [Last modified: Friday, December 18, 2009 8:38pm]
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