Complaint details Suggs' alleged abuses

Woman who received restraining order says he spilled bleach on her

December 08, 2009|By Justin Fenton | justin.fenton@baltsun.com

A Baltimore County woman alleged in a court filing last week that Ravens linebacker-defensive end Terrell Suggs knocked her down and spilled bleach on her last month after an argument over game-day tickets, records show.

Candace Williams, 26, who identifies herself as Suggs' fiancee and the mother of his two children, received a temporary protective order Friday requiring Suggs to stay away from her and to vacate their Windsor Mill home until a District Court hearing this Friday. Suggs, 27, who suffered a knee injury in the Nov. 16 game against the Cleveland Browns and has not played since, was inactive for Monday night's game against the Packers and did not travel with the team to Green Bay.

On Saturday, Suggs told The Baltimore Sun that the incident was a family matter and he would not comment. He also denied that he was in a relationship with Williams.

According to the complaint made available Monday and filed five days after the alleged incident, Williams said Suggs threw a soap dispenser at her head, hit her in the chest with his hand, and held a bottle of bleach over her and their 1-year-old son, which spilled on them and caused a rash. Baltimore City District Court Judge Ronald Alan Karasic wrote that a laceration was visible on Williams' chest.

Neither Williams nor her attorney, Eric Gordon, returned telephone calls Monday.

Suggs' agent, Gary Wichard, also did not return telephone calls Monday.

The allegations came in an application for a protective order, a civil process initiated by individuals. Suggs has not been charged with a crime and is not under investigation, though court records also indicate that the Department of Social Services has become involved.

Ravens vice president Kevin Byrne said the team has a copy of Williams' petition and reiterated that Suggs "will have his chance to tell his side of the story."

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league would "take a look at it as we would any such matter to try to understand the facts."

Lt. Rob McCullough, a Baltimore County police spokesman, said that protective orders are typically initiated after an accuser calls police and is instructed by the investigating officers to seek a restraining order. But police had no record of any emergency calls at Suggs' home in the past week. McCullough said many accusers seek a police report to justify the protective order.

Those seeking protective orders on their own are instructed by court officials that they have the option of filing criminal charges, and police said they do not take action if the petitioner declines. If a final protective order is granted by a judge, McCullough said, police domestic violence coordinators may conduct a follow-up investigation.

But police involvement is not a requirement for a protective order. Carole Alexander, executive director of the Baltimore House of Ruth, said anyone who has been harmed or is in fear of being harmed is able to visit a District Court and fill out a petition to seek protection. She said there is a "high standard of proof" involved in such proceedings.

John S. Smith, a Glen Burnie-based attorney who specializes in family law and is not involved in the Suggs case, said accusers often choose not to pursue criminal charges if there are children involved.

But Smith also added that in his 23 years of handling these types of cases, he has seen his share of false reports. "I've seen a lot of females do this without just cause just to get the guy out of the house," he said.

Williams wrote that the altercation occurred about 5:15 p.m. Nov. 29, in the presence of Suggs' cousin and Suggs' best friend. Suggs told her he had two tickets for the Ravens game that evening against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Baltimore that she had requested, but became angry that he did not know who the tickets were for, according to court records. She said that they stopped yelling and teased each other, and she believed the argument was over.

Williams said she teased Suggs while he was in the bathroom. As she went to close the door, he "stiff-armed the door," according to Williams.

"So me, still thinking he's playing, I kick (with the top of my foot) his arm off the door to close it, the whole time laughing thinking we're playing and he throws bathroom soap thing at my head," Williams wrote.

She said Suggs said she had hurt his arm and began yelling obscenities at her, and Williams said she spat on his chest. She wrote that she heard one of Suggs' friends, who was present in the home, say, "Oh no, Sizz, come on, don't do that." When she turned around, according to her complaint, he knocked her to the ground and sat on top of her, grabbing her neck and holding an open bottle of bleach over her.

Williams wrote that Suggs used an obscenity and said he was going to "drown [her] with this bleach."

She put her hands over the cap, but the cleaner spilled onto her and their son, she wrote. He then told her to get out of the house, dressed and left for the game, she wrote.

In an area in which petitioners are asked to describe "past injuries," Williams lists "busted lips, broken nose, black eyes, bruises," though she did not give dates or say how such injuries occurred. She asks the court to order Suggs to go to domestic-violence counseling and pay "emergency family maintenance" costs.

In July, Suggs signed one of the most lucrative deals in NFL history, a six-year, $63 million contract.

Baltimore Sun reporters Brent Jones and Ken Murray contributed to this article.



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