The Indianapolis Star’s Eric Weddle reported this morning that Colts backup safety Joe Lefeged was arrested just after midnight in Washington D.C. near his hometown of Gaithersburg, Maryland. According to Weddle, Lefeged and 23-year-old Timothy Wilson fled when the police attempted to stop their vehicle, and after the police caught up to them, they found an unregistered handgun.
From The Star:
Lefeged and Timothy Wilson, 23, are both being arraigned this afternoon on various charges, including: carrying a firearm without license, unregistered firearm, unregistered ammunition and presence of a firearm in a motor vehicle.
This is a disappointment on several levels, especially considering how well Lefeged was doing in Indianapolis. The Colts’ third safety, was a special teams co-captain along with Pat McAfee last season and proved very adept at downing punts inside the 20-yard line. He even took over for the injured Tom Zbikowski as a starting safety in week 14 and held on to the starting spot for the final 4 games of the season. He finished the year with 31 tackles, including 16 in those final four weeks, which is good production for a backup/special teamer.
Lefeged is the second Colts player to get into trouble the law or a league policy in the past week. Well, Colts fans let us all hope we don’t have to hear any more of these types of stories this year.
According to new details, Lefeged was in the passenger seat of the car, which attempted to flee a traffic stop for speeding. When the police found the car about a half a mile away, Lefeged and the two other people in the car attempted to run. The police caught Lefeged and the other passenger, while the driver eluded authorities.
Found in the car was: an open plastic container of vodka and orange juice, a semi-automatic pistol with proper paperwork (But Lefeged was NOT authorized to be carrying in D.C.). Police reported that the car smelled of marijuana, but none was reported found in the car.
Lefeged is being held without bond and will have a preliminary court hearing on Tuesday, July 2. - KJR
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I hope the Colts keep Lefegrd for this reason... from what I can tell of the proposed charges he is only guilty of being really stupid. I think in today's NFL's climate, it will be easy for the Colts to "sacrifice" Lefegred and hold themselves up for "doing things the right way".
And I guess I would not have a problem with that. Yet, I ask myself if these exact same proposed charges were leveled at a core starter, what would the Colts do? In my opinion, there is no way the Colts would part with a key player, with these charges as we currently know them.
Update to some of the points made by Payton: From the Associtated Press (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nfl/news/20130629/joe-lefeged-arrested-guns-nfl.ap/?sct=uk_t2_a3
1) The police arrested Lefeged as he tried to run away. This will be a guilty plea on the fleeing and eluding charge.
2) A receipt in the car showed Lefeged bought the gun this year for about $900. It was sticking out under the seat where Joe was sitting. Bad week to get a open and shut gun charge.
3) Officers smelled marijuana in the car and found a plastic bottle of vodka and orange juice in the center console. The Commish is not going to like this.
Good news, Sergio Brown, a spot just opened up on the 53-man roster.
Before having everyone flip their shit, which apparently I missed, let's step back and take a look at the whole scenario first.
1) Lefeged was not driving the car, so he wasn't responsible for fleeing the police and likely could not have safely stopped the driver from doing so.
2) Everyone will be charged with the charges above since no one copped to possessing the gun.
3) No one in that car was likely a DC resident, so none of them could have legally possessed the gun or ammo per DC law. However DC has laws that directly contradict federal peaceable journey laws from FOPA. While it's a slim chance, they might have just been driving through DC, and if the gun is kept in a locked container away from the driver and passengers it's supposed to be legal everywhere. However it sounds like they were out drinking in DC, so we can probably safely strike that one.
4) DC has super fucked up gun laws that even DC cops and politicians dont' really know how to enforce them.
While Lefeged definitely could have screwed the pooch, it's just as likely that he was going out with friends and didn't know about the gun in the car.
Eh. IMO the fleeing is stupid however id like to know there def. of fleeing. The unregistered gun however is just dumb though especially if your caring it around (I wont get into thoughts on gun laws).
The gun culture in the NFL is ridiculous. I just hope he had the gun for protection and not for any other possible shady business.
The Washington Post article linked below does not mention the fleeing and eluding charge mentioned in other articles. A ray of hope for Joe Lefeged? He might survive if only the gun registration and open container charges are filed: (carrying a pistol without a license, possession of an unregistered handgun, unlawful possession of ammunition, having a gun in a car and having an open container of alcohol).
@Payton I agree with everything you say and I'm by no means an apologist. If I were in a car with a driver who owned an illegal firearm and he decided to drive the car to avoid the police at a traffic stop and he got out of the car and ran, would I be inclined to run too? Perhaps? Being in a car with a bottle of vodka plus orange juice is a little too obvious to ignore. Cleary, he was with people he was ill advised to be with. Who was responsible for exactly what is much less clear since three were involved.
Read the Post article I posted below. Lefeged started running from the car.
The receipt for the gun was in the car. It belonged to Lefeged.
The gun was under Lefeged's seat. Not in a locked container.
@dmstorm22 Even then, having it unregistered is just plain dumb.