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Richard Sherman threatened to kill himself: Wife’s 911 call

Five-time Pro Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman was entertaining suicidal thoughts, according to a 911 call, before he was arrested and jailed in the Seattle suburb of Redmond, Wash., early Wednesday morning on three charges, including felony domestic violence residential burglary.

The arrest ended a night that included what police suspect was an alcohol-induced crash rendering his SUV not drivable, and subsequent threats to hang himself, according to audio of a 911 call Sherman’s wife, Ashley Moss, made and which was obtained and publicized by KIRO Radio.

A woman claiming to be Moss told the emergency operator that no weapons were involved, but Sherman “was being aggressive” with her uncle after drinking “two bottles” of hard alcohol. He was “threatening to kill himself … and sent text messages to people saying he is going to hang himself.” She is heard pleading with him not to drive off, to no avail.

Sherman, who is an unsigned free agent, also was booked for resisting arrest and malicious mischief for damage caused to a door while trying to force entry into his in-laws’ home shortly before 2 a.m., Redmond police chief Darrell Lowe said during an afternoon news conference.

The domestic violence component is because of the relation to his wife’s parents and “not due to him physically assaulting a significant other,” according to Lowe. That distinction could be important when it comes to how teams view the risk of signing Sherman and how the NFL penalizes him (if he joins a team) under its personal code of conduct separate from the legal system.

Richard Sherman
Richard Sherman was arrested and jailed Wednesday morning.
CSM /LANDOV

Sherman was denied bail, as reportedly is common practice in Washington before a person accused of a domestic-violence crime appears in front of a judge. His initial hearing is set for Thursday, at which point charges will be formalized.

“At this time we’re going to make no statements, except he didn’t harm anybody,” Moss, the mother of Sherman’s two children, told The Seattle Times. “My kids were not harmed in the incident. He’s a good person and this is not his character. We’re doing all right, just trying to get him out. I want people to know no one was injured.”

Prior to the incident at his in-laws’ home, Sherman’s vehicle hit a concrete barrier as it left a construction zone with active workers, one of whom called 911, police said. The SUV was found abandoned with significant damage to the driver’s side, Washington State Patrol captain Ron Mead told reporters. Sherman allegedly walked to the nearby residence.

Police observed signs of impairment and obtained a search warrant to draw blood from Sherman, Mead said. The results are pending and might not be known for months because of a testing backlog, according to an NBC Sports Bay Area report.

After the crash, Sherman, 33, did not gain entry to the house before police arrived on the scene. The interaction was “amicable” for about 10 minutes, until Sherman was informed he was being taken into custody, according to Lowe.

At that point, Sherman moved away from police, an altercation ensued and the K-9 unit was deployed to subdue Sherman, who suffered lacerations on his leg. He and a police officer were taken to the hospital with minor injuries, police said. Sherman was booked shortly after 6 a.m.

Richard Sherman with the 49ers in 2020.
Richard Sherman with the 49ers in 2020.
Getty Images

Sherman won a Super Bowl ring during seven seasons with the Seahawks and played the last three seasons for the 49ers, earning a spot on the NFL’s All-Decade Team and a future bust in the Hall of the Fame. He has expressed an interest in playing in 2021, and the Jets — who have a dire need at cornerback and are coached by the heavily Sherman-praised Robert Saleh — are a logical destination if he does not mind assisting a rebuilding process.

Sherman is a member of the NFL Players Association’s executive committee.

“We were made aware of an arrest last night of one of our player leaders for an alleged domestic violence incident and have activated our domestic violence crisis protocol for the protection and support of everyone involved,” read a statement issued by the NFLPA, which does not typically comment on player arrests. “We will continue to monitor events closely as more facts are made available to us.”

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