Things had been awfully quiet around 49ers headquarters since the close of minicamp. Players were enjoying what they have left of their offseason while training camp starts to close in. The most important part of the offseason: it had been scot-free of legal trouble … until Tuesday night.
The San Jose Mercury News reported a warrant for the arrest of 49ers outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks had been put on hold. The warrant stemmed from a June 8th incident involving a fight between Brooks and 49ers nose tackle Lamar Divens.
From the Merc:
According to the application for Brooks’ arrest, the incident unfolded after Brooks, Divens and other 49er players spent the evening of June 7 at different players’ houses. Eventually they decided to go to downtown San Jose and keep drinking.
The unidentified witness said Brooks was too intoxicated to drive home, so Divens drove. When they got to Brooks’ house about 2 a.m. on June 8, Brooks asked for his keys. Divens pretended to chuck them onto the grass and then started to hand them to him.
Brooks then allegedly clocked Divens in the head with a beer bottle. Brooks allegedly began cursing and then struck him in the head again. Brooks allegedly asked Divens, “Do I need to get my (expletive deleted) gun?” and struck him again. Prosecutors also allege in the warrant that Brooks punched Divens.
The warrant is on hold because the Santa Clara District Attorney’s office is having trouble deciding whether Brooks’ offense is worthy of a felony, a misdemeanor or no charge at all. This type of case is known as a “wobbler” (thank you to everyone’s favorite 49ers blogger/attorney, Fooch of NinersNation for that knowledge). After the incident, police were called to the scene and left without making any arrests. They spoke to Divens later, who declined to press charges and, according to the warrant application, “said this would be bad for both of their careers and that he just wanted to keep playing and that they had resolved it.”
This situation is troubling for a number of reasons:
- Brooks, Divens and another player were allegedly drinking at one person’s house before driving into San Jose to drink more. Then Brooks got “too intoxicated to drive home” and tried to drive again anyway.
- If this report is true, Brooks exhibited some pretty violent behavior by hitting his teammate with a bottle repeatedly.
- Brooks then allegedly threatened to get his gun.
- Most importantly, this could be the first relapse into poor behavior for Brooks in a while (at least as far as public knowledge is concerned). The linebacker was accused of punching a woman in the face while playing for the Bengals in 2008, got dismissed from the team at University of Virginia for an undisclosed off-the-field incident in 2005 after getting charged with marijuana possession in 2003.
Since coming to the 49ers, he’d kept his nose clean. In fact, I praised Brooks for his turnaround and quiet contributions during the 2012 season, and the 49ers obviously appreciated him all the same when they signed him to a 6-year extension last February. We’ll keep an eye on the situation as it unfolds, but like Aldon Smith’s troubles last offseason, the 49ers will hope this is isolated and swept under the rug.