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Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib surrenders to Texas police

DALLAS — Bucs cornerback Aqib Talib, who has been busy preparing a defense of felony charges that he fired gunshots at his sister's boyfriend, surrendered Wednesday morning to Texas police.

Talib, 25, has retained law firms from two states and hired a Dallas private investigator who has questioned neighbors who witnessed the March 21 shooting that rattled the quiet subdivision of Charleston Commons, a suburb of Dallas.

He posted $25,000 bail and was released after spending about two hours being booked in a Garland, Texas, jail.

Talib and his mother, Okolo, are charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after police say they took turns firing shots at Shannon Billings, 40, who describes himself as the common-law husband of Talib's sister, Saran. Billings was not hit.

Talib has retained Pittsburgh sports attorney Jay Reisinger, a member of the legal teams that have represented baseball stars Alex Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa and Andy Pettitte. He also has hired Dallas criminal attorney Frank Perez and H. David Lozano, a private investigator for Drake Security Patrol.

Talib's attorneys declined comment Wednesday.

Earlier this week, Talib told Clint Bowen, a co-defensive coordinator at Kansas during Talib's college career there, that only his mother pulled the trigger during the domestic disturbance.

"I told him, 'I just read something about you firing a gun,' " Bowen said. "He said, 'Man, I didn't do a thing. It'll all come out soon.' He just kept saying that. He said, 'I didn't do that. That was my mom. It's all going to come out.' "

Okolo Talib, 58, also was charged with felony possession of a handgun. She turned herself in on Tuesday and was released on a total of $30,000 bond.

According to the arrest warrants, detectives believe both Talib and his mother fired shots at Billings about 7:30 p.m. on March 21, startling the neighborhood of two-story, brick houses in the 900 block of Green Pond Drive in the Dallas suburb of Garland.

Billings told detectives Talib arrived on the scene first, pointed a 9mm handgun at him and said he was going to strike him with it. When Talib swung the handgun at Billings, it slipped out of his hand, falling to the ground.

Billings told detectives he picked up the handgun, which had jammed after striking a wooden fence. Talib continued to try to fight Billings, the warrant stated, when Okolo Talib arrived at the location, "jumped out of her car with a gun in her hand and eventually shot the gun at him."

Talib, the warrant says, then grabbed the gun from his mother and fired it at Billings several times. Billings ran into a wooded area, "fearing for his life." When he emerged, Aqib and Okolo were gone, according to the warrant.

Billings remains in the Dallas County jail on $2,500 bond after being charged with aggravated assault and interfering with an emergency call earlier in the day on March 21. Billings is a registered sex offender with the Texas Department of Public Safety. In 1998, when he was 27, he was convicted of sexual assault on a 14-year-old girl and served probation.

The cases are being filed in Dallas County and will be presented in 4-6 weeks to a grand jury, which will decide whether to indict, Garland police spokesman Joe Harn said.

If convicted of the second-degree felony, Talib could serve two to 25 years in prison.

In addition to his legal problems, the Bucs' best defensive player is almost certain to face an interruption of his NFL career.

Talib, who went to L.V. Berkner High in the Dallas suburb of Richardson, was suspended for one game last season by the league for punching a St. Petersburg cab driver in 2009. Bucs general manager Mark Dominik said the team is "deeply troubled," by the serious charges filed against Talib. Teams cannot have contact with players or make transactions during the owners' lockout.

However, commissioner Roger Goodell has said the league's code of conduct will be enforced once the labor issue is settled.

Times staff writer Stephen F. Holder and Times senior researcher John Martin contributed to this report.

Bucs cornerback Aqib Talib posted $25,000 bail and was released after spending about two hours being booked.

DIRK SHADD | Times (2010)

Bucs cornerback Aqib Talib posted $25,000 bail and was released after spending about two hours being booked.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib surrenders to Texas police 03/30/11 [Last modified: Thursday, March 31, 2011 12:13am]
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