Clinical appraisal of Searcy in works

Procedure required after Raven charged

Pro Football

May 08, 2001|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,SUN STAFF

Ravens offensive tackle Leon Searcy will be required to undergo a clinical evaluation that could lead to counseling under the NFL's personal-conduct policy in the wake of his arrest on a domestic violence charge.

Searcy, signed as a free agent in March, was charged with battery when Lake County (Fla.) sheriff's deputies were summoned to his Clermont, Fla., home after his wife, Sonya, placed a 911 call Friday morning.

According to the league's personal-conduct policy, any person "arrested for or charged with conduct prohibited by this policy will be required to undergo an immediate, mandatory clinical evaluation and, if directed, appropriate counseling.

"Such evaluation and counseling must be performed under the direction and supervision of the NFL Vice President of Player and Employee Development."

The policy further states that any person "convicted of or admitting to a criminal violation" is subject to discipline by NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

Searcy, 6 feet 4 and 320 pounds, allegedly kicked his wife in the lower left leg as she attempted to dial 911 after an apparent argument. Searcy reportedly told police he asked his wife whom she was calling and she told him she was holding the phone "in case she needed it."

After he kicked her, Searcy said he went into another room.

Sonya Searcy never finished the call after dialing the number. When authorities arrived, she told them she did not want her husband to go to jail, refused to show them her leg when asked about injuries and refused to answer any additional questions. She also said she did not intend to prosecute.

Searcy was taken to the Lake County jail, where he posted a $500 bond on Saturday and was released. Given Sonya Searcy's refusal to testify against her husband, one Florida attorney said yesterday the case most likely will be dismissed.

Searcy's agent declined to address the legal process, but described the incident as a "misunderstanding."

"It will work itself out," said agent Drew Rosenhaus. "Everything is going to be fine. Leon and his wife are very close. They have put this behind them and everything will work out just fine. The Ravens' fans do not have to worry about this situation."

Ozzie Newsome, the team's vice president of player personnel, declined to comment, referring only to a statement issued Friday.

"We have become aware of an alleged incident involving Leon Searcy," the statement read. "We are attempting to gather more information regarding the matter."

NOTES: The Ravens announced the re-signing of free safety Rod Woodson yesterday to a five-year contract. The deal is really for two years and approximately $7 million, though.

"My main priority was to stay in Baltimore," Woodson, 36, said in a statement. "I've had fun here. We built a good chemistry, and you can't take that for granted. Being a mentor has been my role for the past three years, and I'm more than willing to do my part to help the team."

Defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis said Woodson will be "an excellent mentor for [second-round draft pick] Gary Baxter on being a professional and how to study and prepare. ... For us as a defense, it means we're able to continue on track with what we're doing, the flexibility of safeties who can cover wide-outs and do a good job of adjusting." Said Newsome: "I think he wanted to be here and we wanted Rod to be here."

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