Police believe Foley was unarmed at time of shooting

Updated: September 7, 2006, 1:54 AM ET
Associated Press

SAN DIEGO -- Chargers linebacker Steve Foley apparently was unarmed when he was shot and wounded by an off-duty police officer near his upscale suburban home during a traffic stop, authorities said.

 Steve Foley
Foley

There was no update Tuesday on Foley's condition, which his agent has described as stable. San Diego County sheriff's Lt. Dennis Brugos said investigators have tried to question him, but Foley has been unable to respond.

"He's been kind of in a sedated state since he's been in the hospital," Brugos told the San Diego Union-Tribune in Wednesday's editions.

Foley was wounded early Sunday by the officer, identified as Aaron Mansker.

"To my knowledge, I don't believe Foley did have a weapon, even though I was told he reached into his waistband with his right hand," Brugos said. "I don't know what was in his mind. We did not recover a weapon."

Mansker has been placed on paid administrative leave, said Leah Corbin, a police spokeswoman in Coronado, a wealthy peninsular enclave across the bay from San Diego. The 23-year-old officer joined the Coronado Police Department in August 2005 after graduating from the police academy at Palomar College, officials said.

Foley is on the non-football injured reserve list, meaning he will miss the season and forfeit his pay, estimated at $1.65 million.

Since 1999, Foley has been arrested at least five times, including cases that police say involved alcohol and confrontations with officers, the Union-Tribune reported.

In April, he was arrested for investigation of public intoxication, resisting arrest and battery on a police officer following an early-morning scuffle with at least three officers in Universal City, police said. Prosecutors decided not to file felony charges in the case last week.

Before that, Foley pleaded guilty to drunken driving in Louisiana in 1999 and received probation.

At one point, he was enrolled in an NFL alcohol treatment program, the newspaper reported.

The shooting occurred Sunday after Foley, who is 6-foot-4, 265 pounds, got out of the vehicle near his home in Poway and began walking toward Mansker, who identified himself as an officer, said he was armed and fired a warning shot into the bushes, authorities said.

Lisa Maree Gaut, a passenger in Foley's vehicle, got behind the wheel and drove toward the police officer, authorities said. Mansker fired two shots at the car and avoided getting struck. Gaut was unharmed.

Mansker fired at Foley when Foley "raised up his shirt and reached down into his waistband," Brugos said. He opened fire again when Foley continued to walk toward him, and then Foley fell to the ground.

The shooting came after Mansker, who was on his way home from work, followed a suspected drunken driver weaving in freeway traffic at speeds up to 90 mph. The driver nearly collided with several other vehicles.

Foley stopped three times, including at a red light after he got off the freeway. Mansker called radio dispatchers for assistance and ordered him to pull over, but Foley drove away, officials said.

Brugos said Tuesday that while Mansker was wearing his police badge on the right side of his belt, he didn't believe he showed it to Foley from his car.

Asked if Foley saw the badge, Brugos said he didn't know.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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