Protective order granted against Suggs
BALTIMORE -- A judge granted a protective order Friday that bars Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs from contact with the mother of his two young children, a decision that Suggs agreed to without admitting any wrongdoing.
Candace D. Williams, 26, accused Suggs of hitting her in the chest, pushing her to the floor and sitting on her while holding her neck with one hand and a bottle of bleach with the other, according to court documents.
Williams alleged that Suggs threatened to drown her with the bleach and that some of it splashed on her and their toddler son, the documents showed. The alleged scuffle began with an argument over tickets to the Ravens' Nov. 29 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Suggs, 27, has not been charged with a crime and denies any wrongdoing. Williams filed a lawsuit against Suggs on Tuesday, accusing him of assault and battery and seeking $70 million in damages. She also sued for custody and child support.
"You can draw your own conclusions relating to somebody's motives when they file a $70 million lawsuit within 20 days of the alleged incident," said Warren S. Alperstein, one of Suggs' attorneys.
Alperstein said Suggs was satisfied with the result of the hearing.
"He does not want to be near her at all," Alperstein said.
Baltimore District Judge Theodore B. Oshrine did not rule on the merits of Williams' domestic violence claims. Instead, he urged lawyers for Suggs and Williams to agree to extend the protective order while the lawsuit, which was filed in Baltimore County, works its way through the courts.
Suggs' attorneys said they would have called eyewitnesses to contradict Williams' claims of abuse. They said Williams initiated the fight between them by hitting him in the head, kicking him and spitting on him and that Suggs did not retaliate.
Williams' attorney, Eric Gordon, also brought several witnesses to testify on his client's behalf. Gordon declined to comment after the hearing.
Alperstein said in court that social workers interviewed the couple and other witnesses and concluded that Williams' allegation that Suggs abused their son was unsubstantiated. Oshrine ordered the report from the social workers sealed.
Attorneys spent much of the 90-minute hearing negotiating the terms of the couple's breakup. Suggs and Williams, who are not married, agreed to share custody of their 2-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son, and Suggs agreed to pay Williams $35,000 a month in child support. Williams will also take possession of one of Suggs' cars, a 2008 Hummer H2.
Williams wept as she entered the courthouse and at the conclusion of the hearing. Suggs, wearing a charcoal three-piece suit, appeared calm and shook hands with fans outside the courtroom during a recess.
Suggs left the courthouse via a side entrance to avoid reporters, and Williams declined to comment.
Suggs signed a six-year, $63 million contract in the offseason with $38 million in guaranteed money, making him the highest-paid linebacker in NFL history.
His season has been marred by injuries. He sat out training camp with a heel injury and has missed the last three games with a sprained right knee ligament. He is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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