TAMPA — With no witnesses and no video evidence, Tampa Police have stopped investigating a case from Christmas Eve that had a truck belonging to Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson found wrecked and abandoned in a mall parking lot with hollow-point bullets and marijuana reportedly found inside.
Police said International Plaza has given "no indication" of wanting to prosecute the case, and Jackson, 31, told police that a friend was driving his Chevy Silverado pickup on the night in question and that the bullets and drugs were not his. The full police report, released Thursday, said the driver is a former NFL player who served six months in jail in 2015 after pleading no contest to the burglary of a former teammate's home.
Therrian Fontenot, 35, has known Jackson since they were teammates with the Eagles in 2007-08. Fontenot played two games in the NFL and was driving the truck, the report said, when it struck a palm tree in the mall parking lot, sustaining "severe and disabling front-end damage."
The crash happened the night of a Bucs road game last season against the Panthers in Charlotte, N.C., but Jackson did not travel with the team and was inactive due to an ankle injury. Police responded at 8:28 p.m. after the team flight had arrived home.
The police report states that when Jackson called a cellphone found in the wrecked truck and police answered, he initially "attempted to report the truck stolen" before he "eventually admitted" that his friend was the driver.
The report says that Fontenot had an outstanding warrant related to traffic offenses; Jackson "did not facilitate the driver coming forward" and did not contact the police with any followup information on how to find him.
Fontenot's Instagram account shows a picture of him with Jackson at Raymond James Stadium after the Bucs' home game Dec. 10 against Detroit.
In 2015, Fontenot spent six months in jail in connection with burglarizing the home of another NFL receiver, Bernard Berrian, who had been his teammate in college at Fresno State.
Berrian told a California TV station that Fontenot had left a barbecue they both attended and broke into his home, and was alerted by his home security, watching live video and recognizing his friend as the one on camera. Fontenot pleaded no contest and served six months in jail, and had an additional two years of probation, ending last year.
Jackson, who is entering the second year of a three-year, $33.5 million contract with the Bucs, declined comment Thursday when asked about the case and his relationship with Fontenot.