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Terrell Suggs charged in Arizona with leaving scene of accident, driving on suspended license

Terrell Suggs was arrested this morning in Arizona.

Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs was arrested early Friday in Arizona and charged with driving on a suspended license and leaving the scene of an accident, according to the Scottsdale Police Department.

Suggs was arrested after police responded to a call about a one-car crash and found the player’s BMW 750Li in a nearby parking lot with “fresh damage,” police said.

According to police, an investigation revealed that Suggs wasn’t impaired. The 33-year-old told officers that he “possibly fell asleep” before the crash. He was arrested at 2:03 a.m., taken to the Scottsdale City Jail for processing and released after receiving criminal traffic citations.

Charges of driving on a suspended license and leaving the scene of an accident can involve jail time in Arizona, but are traditionally handled with fines, a police spokesman said. Suggs confirmed his arrest on social media Friday morning and said, “My bad,” and called himself “dumb.”

“Terrell will let the judicial system take its course and fix his license issues,” said Suggs’ publicist, Denise White, who said in a statement that the linebacker’s license was suspended because of speeding tickets.

Ravens senior vice president of public and community relations Kevin Byrne said Suggs informed team officials of his arrest and the organization is “looking into it.” Suggs’ arrest is believed to be the first by a Ravens’ player since former running back Bernard Pierce was arrested last March in Baltimore and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. He was subsequently released by the Ravens.

An NFL spokesman said the league will review Suggs’ arrest per league policy. “We review the record of any arrest of NFL personnel to make sure we understand the facts,” the spokesman said.

According to Scottsdale police, they received a call at 1:20 a.m. Mountain Time about the “sound of a collision.” Officers responded, found evidence of a crash in the nearby median, and followed a fluid trail that led to a grocery store parking lot. That’s where they found Suggs’ damaged BMW.

Police said they approached Suggs as he was getting into a friend’s car in the parking lot. He was interviewed, and police determined that he was driving with a suspended license.

According to the police report, Suggs suffered a "two-inch abrasion" on top of his head in the accident. Suggs told police the injury occurred when he struck the curb and his head hit the roof of the BMW, but he declined medical attention.

The longtime Raven went to Arizona State and spends most of the offseason in the Phoenix area. Online court records show that Suggs had a traffic complaint filed against him Feb. 25 but details were not available.

Suggs has found off-the-field trouble before. In a court filing in December 2009, Candace Williams, Suggs girlfriend at the time (the two eventually married but separated last year), alleged that Suggs hit her in the chest and held a bottle of bleach over her and their 1-year-old son.

Suggs was never investigated or charged with a crime since the allegations were in the form of a protective order. In December 2012, the linebacker was ordered to turn over several of his licensed firearms after Williams filed a court order against him.

A first-round draft pick in 2003, Suggs is the team’s longest-tenured player. The six-time Pro Bowl selection and 2011 NFL Defensive Player of the Year is the franchise’s all-time leader in sacks and forced fumbles, and he’s second in tackles behind Ray Lewis.

Suggs missed almost the entire 2015 season after he tore his Achilles tendon in the team’s regular-season opener against the Denver Broncos. It was the second time in four years in which Suggs tore an Achilles.

After the injury, Suggs stayed away from the team and didn’t regularly speak with members of the organization, prompting speculation about his future. However, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said last week at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis that he expects Suggs to be ready for the start of the 2016 season.

“I talked to him last week,” Newsome said. “He’s doing well.”

jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com
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