In the last two months, wide receiver Terrance Williams was arrested on a charge of public intoxication, defensive lineman David Irving was suspended the first four games of the 2018 season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs, and now practice squad cornerback Marquez White is facing a felony charge from a “road rage” incident during the 2017 season.
The first two have been seen before. White’s case, however, when examining the details, is interesting on multiple levels.
So what is there to make of this? Here is what happened:
Marquez White was arrested last month and charged with second-degree aggravated assault with a deadly weapon (a felony) by the Collin County District Attorney’s office following an Oct. 20, 2017 incident in which he pulled a gun on another driver. The 23-year old was released on $7,500 bond.
On July 9, when news of the incident surfaced, White released a statement on his Instagram:
“On the day of October 20th, 2017 I was involved in a road rage incident in which my life was threatened and resulted in me having to draw my weapon. I was getting off of highway 121 onto the access road near Tennyson Parkway in Plano, TX where I was met by an aggressive driver. I was trying to get over to avoid running into the wall where the lanes merge, but he then increased speed forcing me to make the decision to either run into the wall or cut him off.
“I eventually made my way in front of him and he proceeded to ride very closely and aggressively on my tail. I hit the brakes to get him off of me and could then see him becoming very angry in my rear view mirror. He then sped up again and I hit my brakes again and after this time he pulled over to my driver side while still driving and proceeded to yell racial slurs such as the “N” word while also threatening to kill me. Simultaneously while doing this he began to reach towards his glove box and that is when I flashed my weapon. He then hit the brakes, got behind me, and proceeded to follow me to my house. Upon arriving at my house I exited my car and went into my home as he sat outside and contacted the authorities.
“When the police got there I came downstairs on my own and gave them my side of the story. He admitted to tailing me and pulling to my driver side, but denied any of the things he said. They retrieved my weapon from my home for evidence and NO arrest was made that day. On June 14th, 2018 during practice I received a notice from the team that there was a felony warrant issued for my arrest for the October 20th incident.
“There were about 5 officers on the scene, but two weeks later a female officer contacted me from her personal phone number asking for me to come in to answer a few more questions. I initially agreed to come in, but I postponed this meeting after being advised to not speak without a lawyer present. She assured me that no lawyer was needed, but I was still not comfortable speaking without one present.
“I was informed that multiple letters were sent to my old address in Tallahassee, FL and that attempts were made to contact me, however I changed my number during the season. Me and my legal team believe strongly that this a personal attack on my image as well as the Star.”
Although the Cowboys declined to comment on the matter to NFL.com, White’s attorney, Toby Shook, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that the former Florida State standout and sixth-round pick in the 2017 Draft did not break any laws.
“Marquez did everything legally,” Shook said. “He displayed a gun, but didn’t point it at this individual because he was very concerned with how this individual was making threats. I’m hopeful that this case can be dismissed because I don’t think he violated the law.”
This is still very unknown and too early to tell. White’s next court appearance in August could set the tone for how this charge will be handled. One on hand, the district attorney’s office obviously had enough evidence to believe this is a serious offense. On the other hand, White and Shook are looking to prove nothing illegal occurred during the “road rage” incident.
If you are the Dallas Cowboys, what do you do? Everyone is innocent until proven guilty, but do you see this through and hold onto the practice squad player, who is expected to make $480,000 in 2018, or do you release White no matter what the outcome might be?
It’s a tough call, for sure, and what to make of this incident appears only to be in the eye of the beholder at the present time.