Fiancee held for stabbing Green in back

Updated: November 21, 2003, 1:55 PM ET
Associated Press

BEREA, Ohio -- The fiancee of Cleveland Browns running back William Green was arrested Wednesday night for felonious assault and domestic violence.

Green in violation?
William Green
Green
William Green violated the terms of his four-game suspension under the NFL's substance abuse policy the night before he was stabbed, reportedly because he consumed alcohol.

The Plain Dealer reported that a server at Cleveland's Hard Rock Cafe confirmed Green was at the bar Tuesday evening and that he served him alcohol. A local sports talk radio host, WKNR's Kenny Roda, was broadcasting his show from the Hard Rock that night and also saw Green there, according to the report.

It is possible that Green could be suspended at least an additional four games under Stage II of the NFL's substance abuse policy. If the league moves him to Stage III, he could be suspended for a full year and would then have to apply for reinstatement.

The NFL substance abuse policy directive states that "the illegal use of drugs and the abuse of prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and alcohol is prohibited for players in the National Football League. Moreover, the use of alcohol may be prohibited for individual players in certain situations where clinically indicated in accordance with the terms of this Policy."

Green sustained a puncture wound under his left shoulder blade during a fight at his suburban Westlake home, police said. Authorities believe Green was stabbed in the back by Asia Gray.

Gray had earlier in the day made an emergency call to police saying Green had cut himself.

Gray, 22, who has had two children with Green, is being held in city jail pending an arraignment in Rocky River Municipal Court. No bond has been set.

Green, currently under suspension for violating the NFL's substance-abuse program, told police earlier in the day that he was injured when he fell down stairs.

Green's wound, below his left shoulder blade, did not require stitches. There was a possibility the 23-year-old player would be released later Wednesday, team president Carmen Policy said.

Police responded to a 911 call from Green's home Wednesday morning from an upset Gray, requesting an ambulance for the second-year back.

An emergency vehicle was sent, but Green was not there when it arrived. Police Capt. Guy Turner believes Gray drove Green to St. John-Westshore Hospital accompanied by the couple's 10-week-old baby girl. Green was treated there before being transferred to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland -- about 10 miles away.

The player's sports utility vehicle was impounded, and police sealed his home before acquiring warrants and searching his residence and vehicle.

Turner said Green's home was sealed immediately after police had determined there was no one else hurt.

Green told police he was hurt accidentally.

"He said it (the wound) was received when he fell going up a flight of stairs, carrying some items, including a knife," a police release said.

Green was suspended for four games last week by the NFL for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. He was arrested Oct. 27 on charges of drunken driving and marijuana possession. The Browns suspended him for the Nov. 9 game at Kansas City for "conduct detrimental to the team," and the league will count that game as part of its suspension.

Under terms of his league suspension, Green is not permitted to be at the team's training facility and the Browns are not allowed to have contact with him.

Policy said the Browns are hoping the league will make an exception and permit the club to help Green deal with his problems and aid his recovery. Browns owner Randy Lerner visited Green in the hospital, but league spokesman Steve Alic said the team did not violate league rules by seeing their player.

Green pleaded innocent to the DUI and possession charges and his driving license was suspended. He has a pretrial hearing set for Dec. 3. He is eligible to play Dec. 8 against St. Louis.

Green has had a troubled life. He was 12 when his father, a former heroin addict, died of AIDS. A year later, his mother died after contracting the disease from her husband.

While he was at Boston College, Green twice was suspended for marijuana use. His off-field infractions may have resulted in him sliding to the No. 16 overall pick in the 2002 draft despite being the top-rated back in that year's class.

Following a slow start last season, Green rushed for 887 yards and six touchdowns. He gained 726 yards in the final seven games, leading the Browns to their first playoff appearance since 1994.

Before his suspension, Green rushed for 559 yards and one touchdown this season, but he missed Cleveland's game at New England with a separated right shoulder.

The next day, Green was arrested just a few hours after leaving the team's training facility. He failed a field sobriety test and a breath test, which showed he had a blood alcohol level of 0.165 percent -- more than twice Ohio's legal limit, police said.

The Browns were aware of Green's past drug infractions when they drafted him. Last year, the club signed him to a five-year contract worth $12 million if he reaches incentives.

"I like him a great deal," Policy said. "I don't know how well I know him. I empathize with him, but I'm not sure I fully understand his pain. All I can do is what everybody in the building is doing, and that's trying to stand behind him."


Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press