By Dory LeBlanc
The saga of Mike Williams continues, two days after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver was stabbed in the leg allegedly by his own brother, Eric Baylor.
Around 5 pm Sunday, police were called out to Williams' residence after 911 calls were placed, telling dispatchers the wideout had been stabbed. Williams was taken, treated, and released from St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa later that night, while the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office was searching for Baylor, who was not present at the time authorities arrived at the Avila home to begin their investigation.
Baylor turned himself in at the Orient Road jail at 10 pm Monday and is being held on charges of aggravated battery/domestic violence, a second-degree felony. A judge Tuesday morning set his bond at $1,000.
Speaking from the NFL Owners Meeting in Orlando Tuesday, Bucs head coach Lovie Smith told media in attendance that Mike Williams' job is safe - for now.
Per Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune:
“I have talked to Mike on the telephone and from what I know there was an incident and he was the victim, and that’s not going to get you kicked off the football team,’’ Smith said. “Nothing has happened that would cause him to be off the football team.’’
“I’m going to do a lot more research, just as I would with any other player, but as of right now, we have a player that was a victim. That could change, but for right now that’s what I’m going to stick with."
Since making the comments, the HCSO probable cause statement suggests that although Williams is the stabbing victim, the acts by Baylor were intentional, not accidental as was initially indicated.
According to the report, the brothers "became involved in a physical altercation. During the altercation, the defendant obtained a knife and intentionally stabbed the victim in the anterior portion of his left thigh near the knee. The victim suffered a puncture wound and was taken by ambulance to the hospital where stitches were required to close the wound.
"The victim and the defendant are related as brothers and the victim verbally identified the defendant as such. Witnesses at the scene testified that the subjects were fighting and observed the defendant with the knife during the fight."
As much as the head coach seemed to have empathy for Williams Tuesday afternoon, the Bucs co-chairman Joel Glazer seemed to want to distance the organization from the ongoing headlines Williams has been making the past few months. Also speaking from the meetings in Orlando, Glazer spoke to reporters about the negative light incidents like the ones involving Williams brings to an organization.
"It's one of those things that's ongoing. It's not something we'd like to be part of the organization," Glazer said. "It distracts from the team and the positive things we're doing. It's something we're monitoring and getting more information. We'll see where it all goes.
"As an organization, we have put a real emphasis on off-the-field activities, what we expect of our players, we expect nothing but the highest standards. We're going to stick to that.
"We want to be an organization the community is proud of. We have a lot of good players doing a lot of great things. What this does, what any bad news does, is overshadow all the great work, all the hard work of all the other players. We have 50-some-odd players doing great things. We'd rather that be the focus."
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