Ravens' Staten in hot water after crash; Team weighs action after handgun violation


The Ravens are discussing what disciplinary action they might take against Ralph Staten after the reserve safety was arrested recently for a handgun violation after an auto accident in Baltimore County.

Officer Gary Morgan found a 9-mm semiautomatic handgun on the passenger side of the front seat of Staten's 1988 black Cadillac after the former University of Alabama star failed to negotiate a curve while heading southbound on Falls Road in Cockeysville on Jan. 15.

Staten's car struck and went over a guardrail.

According to Morgan, when he arrived at the scene, Staten appeared to be either asleep or passed out behind the wheel.

Morgan also found the handgun and 11 live shells on the front floor of the passenger side of the car, according to the report filed by the officer.

Morgan reportedly awakened Staten, who told him that he did not have a permit to carry the weapon.

According to the report, Morgan detected a mild odor of an alcoholic beverage on Staten's breath and he was arrested and transported without incident.

Officers reported there was no evidence that the gun was stolen.

Staten, 24, declined to comment. Ravens vice president and director of public relations Kevin Byrne issued a brief statement: "We're aware of the incident and we'll handle it internally."

Staten also was involved in an auto accident Sept. 11. His vehicle collided with another in Baltimore County and the player was charged with drunk driving.

Staten failed three different sobriety tests. A breath test showed a blood-alcohol level of .17 on a breath; the state's limit is .10. A hearing on that charge is scheduled for Feb. 8.

The Ravens suspended Staten for a game after that incident. There is a chance the league could suspend him for four games for the latest incident.

The Ravens consider Staten, a second-year player, to have as much potential as any player on the roster. He was the team's starting free safety for the final three games of the 1998 season, but saw most of his playing time during the season as an extra defensive back/linebacker on passing situations.

Staten had 36 tackles and knocked down nine passes.

Pub Date: 1/26/99

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