Colts safety faces weapons charges

Updated: June 1, 2005, 7:15 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

Third-year safety Mike Doss, who was charged with felony and misdemeanor counts after a Sunday incident in which the Indianapolis Colts starter allegedly fired a handgun into the air at a crowded Akron, Ohio, nightclub, will face "significant" and "swift" action by the team, coach Tony Dungy said.

Mike Doss
Safety
Indianapolis Colts
Profile
2004 SEASON STATISTICS
Tot Ast Solo FF Sack Int
48 41 7 3 1 2

"We have team regulations that, in this case, have been broken," said Dungy. "We're going to look into it and get the facts, and we're going to deal with it very, very swiftly, and we're going to try to do our best to make sure this doesn't happen again."

Team president Bill Polian said he will make an announcement on a punishment next week.

Doss, who won't know until sometime next week whether he will be indicted on the gun-related charges, also could face NFL sanctions. Under the terms of the league's personal conduct policy, Doss could be fined, suspended or banished by commissioner Paul Tagliabue if he even pleads guilty to lesser charges.

The league typically allows for due process in such cases, so any sanctions imposed by the NFL could take time to develop. Dungy made it clear, though, that once Indianapolis officials have all the facts in the case, and consult with the league about possible action, the team will respond.

Noting that the team will act "sooner rather than later," Dungy did not attempt to hide his disappointment or frustration.

Before the Colts adjourned offseason workouts for the Memorial Day weekend, Dungy is said to have reminded his players to avoid incidents that could lead to potential off-field problems. Dungy typically lists five things players should avoid -- such as staying out too late or frequenting the wrong places -- and often reiterates them to the team.

"Generally, you are not going to get the benefit of the doubt from me when those things are involved," said Dungy, who spoke with Doss by phone after the arrest. "This is something we take a very dim view of, something I'm not happy about."

There is a chance that any punitive action imposed by the Colts might, to some extent, ameliorate potential league sanctions. In 2001, after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, New York Jets safety Damien Robinson was stopped entering Giants Stadium with a rifle and ammunition in the trunk of his vehicle. The Jets subsequently fined Robinson one game check, about $30,000, and the NFL accepted that punishment.

Still, once the incident is resolved in the courts, Doss will come under league review.

Doss, 24, was arrested early Sunday after allegedly firing a 40-caliber handgun several times into the air near an Akron nightclub. Among the charges to which Doss pleaded not guilty during a Tuesday hearing: carrying a concealed weapon, a fourth-degree felony in Ohio, and misdemeanor charges of discharging a firearm within city limits, obstructing official business and inducing panic.

The maximum penalty for the felony charge is 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine. The misdemeanors carry punishments ranging from 45 days to six months in jail.

Doss, who grew up near Akron in Canton, Ohio, hasn't entered a plea but signed papers that will allow a Summit County grand jury to consider whether there are grounds for the charges. The grand jury is scheduled to meet Friday.

Doss might not have helped his cause much Wednesday. Dungy expected Doss at the Colts' voluntary mini-camp, but the player was a no-show.

"I don't know exactly," Dungy said when asked why Doss wasn't there. "Hopefully, he'll be here tomorrow or before the week is out."

The Colts practice again Thursday and have four more days of mini-camp scheduled for next week.

A second-round choice in the 2003 draft, Doss has started 24 games in two seasons, and the former Ohio State star has 145 tackles, three interceptions and seven passes defensed despite being slowed last season by hamstring and groin injuries.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here Insider.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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