Jackson to respond to assault allegations today


Complaint filed by mother of 2 of linebacker's children

January 09, 2002|By Dennis O'Brien and Jamison Hensley | Dennis O'Brien and Jamison Hensley,SUN STAFF

Brad Jackson, a third-year Ravens linebacker, is scheduled to be in Baltimore County Circuit Court today to respond to allegations that he assaulted the mother of two of his children outside her Owings Mills apartment New Year's Eve.

Gretchen Kocher alleges in court papers that Jackson assaulted her about 1:20 p.m. when they exchanged their children near her apartment on Lyons Run Circle.

Kocher alleges that she said something about how Jackson's wife treated the children and he approached Kocher as she sat behind the wheel of her car.

According to Kocher's complaint, Jackson threw food at her, slapped her in the face and opened her car door as she drove off, allowing "[Jackson's] wife to jump in and attack me."

Jackson's lawyer, Jonathan S. Greene, said that police called to the scene declined to file criminal charges against his client.

"Clearly there's another side to this story and we hope to clarify this in court," said Greene.

Kocher will ask Circuit Judge Robert E. Cahill today for an order requiring Jackson to attend counseling and prohibiting further abuse.

Kocher also is asking in the papers that Cahill order Jackson to surrender his 9 mm handgun. But Greene said that Jackson, who had a permit for the handgun, no longer owns it.

Court papers show that Jackson and Kocher are involved in a bitter legal dispute over custody of the children, who are 5 and 3. He recently alleged in court papers that Kocher has neglected the children's medical and nutritional needs, violating the terms of a joint custody agreement. Kocher is fighting to retain joint custody in papers filed by her lawyer, J. Allan Cohen.

M. Lewis, Del Rio keep focus

Ravens coaches Marvin Lewis and Jack Del Rio are focused on the job at hand, not the future.

Although their names have been circulated in the midst of the coaching turnover in the NFL, they are committed to helping the Ravens back to the Super Bowl. Under NFL rules, teams are prohibited from contacting a coach whose team is still playing.

Lewis, the Ravens' defensive coordinator for the past six seasons, was a finalist for the Buffalo Bills' coaching vacancy 11 months ago and is regarded as a top candidate for a head coaching position again this year. Lewis has primarily been linked to the Carolina Panthers' opening.

"The most important thing for me is to do the best job I can do," Lewis said. "Afterward, whatever happens, happens."

Del Rio, the Ravens' linebackers coach for three years, is a hot prospect to land a defensive coordinator position. There is speculation that five teams are interested in Del Rio, including the Houston Texans and Detroit Lions.

But if Lewis leaves for a head coaching job, Ravens coach Brian Billick has indicated that Del Rio would be his top choice for defensive coordinator.

"I welcome the opportunity to move up, but the time is not now," Del Rio said. "It's not until our season is over that those kind of things will become more of an issue. Right now, my No. 1 issue is winning a playoff game."

Hellestrae just rusty

If long snapper Dale Hellestrae was younger, there would be cause for concern.

As it stands now, the Ravens view the 17-year veteran's problems, including a low snap that led to a fumble by punter Kyle Richardson in Monday night's 19-3 win over the Minnesota Vikings, a product of rust.

"You know he's got experience and he can correct his situation," special teams coach Russ Purnell said. "He can see what he's done in the past, whereas a younger guy doesn't have the resume."

Hellestrae made his first snaps in a game since last season after replacing Joe Maese, out for the season with torn ligaments in his knee.

Working with a new snapper led to some troubles for Richardson, who had a 10-yard punt on his second attempt. He averaged 32.3 yards on eight attempts.

Injury update

Linebacker Shannon Taylor's dislocated left shoulder is the most serious injury for the Ravens heading into Sunday's playoff game at Miami, and it will likely keep him out.

Nickel back James Trapp (groin) and end Rob Burnett (calf) also aggravated injuries in Monday night's game.

The Ravens will know more about the availability of both players tomorrow and Friday. Trapp, who originally suffered the injury Nov. 4, has been inactive four of the past six games and forced out early because of the injury in the other two.

"He's going to have to have surgery on that," Billick said of Trapp. "He can't damage it further, otherwise the doctors wouldn't allow him to play. It's strictly a matter of how much pain he can play with."

Sun staff writer Brent Jones contributed to this article.

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