Dennard trouble means more woes for Patriots
By HOWARD ULMAN
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | July 12,2013
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Alfonzo Dennard of the New England Patriots was arrested Thursday in Nebraska and accused of driving drunk in the state where he once starred as a defensive back.
It’s the second arrest of a Patriots player in 15 days. Tight end Aaron Hernandez was arrested on June 26 and charged with murder in the killing of Boston semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty. The Patriots cut Hernandez after he was arrested and before the charges were announced.
Dennard’s arrest is his second in 15 months. He hasn’t served a 30-day jail sentence for assaulting a police officer outside a Lincoln, Neb., bar on Apr. 21, 2012. That is scheduled to begin next March. He also was sentenced to two years of probation.
Both players were drafted lower than expected.
The Patriots chose Hernandez in the fourth round in 2010 after he violated the substance abuse policy at Florida. They picked Dennard in the seventh round in 2012 seven days after he was arrested for assault.
The Patriots issued a statement saying, “The New England Patriots are extremely disappointed to learn of Alfonzo Dennard’s arrest. We take this matter very seriously and are working to get more information on the incident.”
A phone listing for Dennard couldn’t be found.
Terry Dougherty, his attorney in the assault case, said in April 2013 that he would ask Lancaster County District Judge Stephanie Stacy to suspend the jail sentence if Dennard complied with the terms of his probation over the next 11 months. Stacy said she would consider such a motion. His attorney from that case declined comment on Thursday’s arrest.
Dennard, 24, was pulled over just before 2 a.m. Thursday and failed a field sobriety test, police said.
Police spokeswoman Katie Flood said Dennard was taken to a detoxification center but not jailed. He also was accused of refusing a chemical test and a driving infraction and had not been charged.
Flood said a final decision on the charges Dennard will face likely will be made by the Lincoln City Attorney’s Office before the court date already assigned to Dennard, Aug. 12. The city prosecutor handling the case didn’t immediately return a call from The Associated Press.
It’s unclear whether prosecutors will move to have Dennard’s probation revoked. Lancaster County Attorney Joe Kelly didn’t immediately return a message.
One week after his arrest last year, the Patriots drafted Dennard with the 224th pick overall.
Dennard sat out the first four games of his rookie season with a hamstring injury then came off the bench in the next two. He started seven of the last 10 regular-season games and both playoff games at cornerback.
Associated Press writer Nelson Lampe in Omaha, Neb., contributed to this report.