Police to Attempt to Question Lynch Today
Thu Jun 12, 2008
The Buffalo News reports investigators for the Buffalo police and Erie County District Attorney Frank J. Clark will attempt to question Bills RB Marshawn Lynch today at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Lynch and at least three other Bills players are believed to have information about the hit-and-run accident involving Lynch's sport utility vehicle and a pedestrian in the city's Chippewa Entertainment District. Police say they have received no cooperation from Lynch and little cooperation from his teammates in their probe of the accident that injured a 27-year-old Ontario woman who was struck while crossing the street at West Chippewa Street and Delaware Avenue on May 31. Buffalo Police Officer Allan A. Kasprzak will go to the stadium in Orchard Park this afternoon and try to question three or more Bills players about the night of the accident, authorities said. "I expect [Bills players] to be cooperative and truthful," Clark said. "If I get any indication that they are anything less than cooperative and truthful, I will go to the grand jury, which will compel them to testify." That could cause trouble — not only for Lynch, but for any other Bills player who is less than truthful. Police said a grand jury probe would turn what is normally a routine police matter into a confrontational, high-profile inquiry that could last for weeks, even months. As of late Wednesday, no charges had been filed in the case, and Lynch, 22, one of the NFL's top rookies last season, still had not spoken to police. Lynch's attorney, Michael P. Caffery, took issue with the idea that he and his client haven't cooperated with authorities. "I've had two conferences with the district attorney's office and several phone calls with the Buffalo police," Caffery said. "As far as I'm concerned, we've cooperated." Police said that Lynch has no arrest record in New York State and has a clean driving record in the state. But some police officers in Buffalo and Hamburg are not surprised to hear that Lynch is having legal difficulties. Lynch was tossed out of two Chippewa Street bars in recent months because he brought in his own bottle of liquor, which is illegal under state alcohol laws, according to three law enforcement officials. "[Buffalo police] have been told by bar owners that he'll walk in, order a glass of pop and pour his own liquor into it," one officer said. "He was told that you can't do that, and it doesn't matter if you're Marshawn Lynch." Law enforcement officials in the Southtowns said Lynch attended a meeting several months ago with three high-ranking members of the Town of Hamburg police. At least one member of Lynch's family and a Bills security official also attended. The meeting was arranged after Lynch complained that police were being tough on him and his family, said a police official who works closely with that department. "From what I understand, it was a case of 'Let's clear the air here,'" the source said. "They thought the police were picking on them." Town police impounded a vehicle that Lynch had been using and lent to a relative. Authorities said the vehicle was impounded after that relative was arrested for violating a vehicle and traffic law. After the impoundment, Lynch went to Police Headquarters to reclaim the vehicle, but police wouldn't give it to him, because it actually belonged to a local car dealer. Lynch had a disagreement with some police personnel over the release of the vehicle, apparently prompting the clear-the-air meeting, sources said. In addition, Orchard Park police investigated one minor incident, last Dec. 13, near the end of the Bills' season. A vehicle apparently driven by Lynch struck a pole outside Ralph Wilson Stadium. Police responded, but no charges were filed, according to Orchard Park police records. Town of Hamburg police have dealt with Lynch and his family on mostly minor matters, usually involving vehicle and traffic laws. That is why one law enforcement official was not surprised to hear about the latest incident involving Lynch's vehicle. "God, no, I wasn't surprised at all," the source said. "It follows a pattern. It's the kind of stuff he's been doing. He's just so cavalier about everything. That was always my impression."