Donte Stallworth Reported Drunk at Time of Accident
Posted: Thursday, April 16th, 2009 at 3:50 pm
Published and broadcast reports confirmed that 28-year-old Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte Stallworth was driving drunk down a causeway linking Miami and Miami Beach on Saturday morning when he struck and killed a pedestrian.
Unnamed sources with knowledge of the investigation reported Stallworth’s blood alcohol content was above the .08 legal limit—between a .08 and .16.
The Miami Herald also cited an unnamed source that reported Stallworth’s blood-alcohol level as above the legal limit. The Miami Beach Police Department denies the reports.
If Stallworth was drunk, he could be charged with DUI manslaughter, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years. Ed Griffith, spokesman for Miami-Dade Country Prosecutor Katherine Fernandez Rundle, would say only that the investigation is focusing on whether alcohol was a factor in the death of 59-year-old Mario Reyes.
Reyes was hit and killed by a Bentley driven by Stallworth around 7 a.m. Saturday. Reyes, a crane operator, had just gotten off work and was trying to catch a bus when he was struck.
No charges have been filed against Stallworth, 28. Neither Stallworth’s attorney, Robert Switke, nor his agent, Drew Rosenhau, returned calls from the Associated Press. ”My family and I are grief- stricken over the tragic accident which occurred Saturday on Miami Beach where Mario Reyes sadly lost his life,” Stallworth said in a statement. “My thoughts and prayers are with the Reyes family during this incredibly difficult time.
”Since this accident is still under police investigation, I cannot comment further,” Stallworth said.
A video obtained by The Miami Herald last weekend showed two Miami Beach police officers giving the football player a sobriety test. Earlier this week, Miami Beach police said results would be released Friday.
Stallworth admitted to drinking at least four tequila drinks and two margaritas. A separate source called that information “basically right,” but added that Stallworth contends he had his last drink at midnight. The incident occurred after 7:00 a.m. local time.
Stallworth claimed in his statement to police that he saw the man crossing the street from a distance, and flashed the high beams and honked the horn of the Bentley he was driving. Apparently, there’s an issue as to whether Stallworth could have taken evasive action because of a barrier along the median.
Stallworth signed a seven-year, $35 million contract with the Browns as a free agent before last seasion but was injured for most of the year. He previously played for New England, Philadelphia and New Orleans in the NFL and played college football at Tennessee.