Talib facing battery charge

Updated: August 20, 2009, 7:24 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib was arrested early Thursday and charged with simple battery and resisting arrest, both misdemeanors, in connection with an alleged assault on a cab driver.

Tampa-area media outlets reported that according to a Florida Highway Patrol arrest report, Talib struck a cab driver in the right ear and neck with a closed fist shortly after 11 p.m. on Wednesday night.

Talib
Talib

According to a report from the Pinellas County, Fla., sheriff's office, Talib, 23, was arrested early Thursday morning by the Florida Highway Patrol. He was booked and released on a total of $300 bail at about 6 a.m. Thursday, according to the report.

According to the police report, when police arrived on the scene Talib and two other men were passengers in the cab. Police asked Talib to get out of the car three times and he did not cooperate, according to the report.

"It was like someone hit me upside the head with a hammer," said the driver, 47-year-old David Duggan of St. Petersburg, according to the St. Petersburg Times. "He hit me so hard he knocked my hat off my head."

Duggan said he had picked the men up outside Nova 535, a St. Petersburg venue that hosts private parties, and charged the men $50 to take them to a hotel in Tampa, according to the Times.

Speaking to reporters Thursday, Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik said the team is in contact with the NFL regarding Talib's arrest.

"It's unfortunate certainly what happened last night," he said. "I've been in contact with the league office [Thursday] and this falls under the personal conduct policy. Certainly whatever decision is made, the commissioner's decision supercedes everything."

An NFL spokesman confirmed the league would review the incident, according to The Tampa Tribune.

"As in any other such matter, we will look into it," league spokesman Greg Aiello said in an e-mail, according to the Tribune.

Dominik expressed strong disappointment in Talib.

"Aqib is a very outgoing, outspoken young man," Dominik said. "He certainly needs to mature a lot more. That's what I'll say."

But Dominik also said the team isn't ready to give up on last year's first-round draft pick.

"What we're trying to do is to try to help him. It may not seem like it's worked, but we're going to continue to work with him," Dominik said. "If he needs counseling, we'll get him counseling. We're going to work and try to catch his attention."

Talib, whom the Buccaneers drafted 20th overall in 2008 out of Kansas, is currently penciled in as one of the Buccaneers' starting cornerbacks. He had four interceptions in 15 games as a rookie last season.

"Obviously you're concerned, obviously you're disappointed," coach Raheem Morris said. "The real deal of the matter is it's a league issue. ... You have to let it go through due process."

Morris said Talib did not practice for "obvious reasons," though last year's No. 1 draft pick is expected to play in Saturday night's preseason game at Jacksonville.

"Right now all I can do is mentor and help him, get him going the right way," the first-year coach said. "Make sure stuff like this doesn't happen to him again."

Talib has been involved in a pair of violent incidents since joining the league, according to area media reports. In a brawl during practice in May, Talib swung his helmet at a teammate and hit bystander Torrie Cox instead. And last year, during the league's rookie symposium, he got into a fight with then-teammate Cory Boyd.

Information from ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas was used in this report. The Associated Press contributed to this report.