In November, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media rattled off a laundry list of occasions when police were called to the home of Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant. The raw number of incidents — six — was troubling. But the content of each specific instance showed that, in isolation, they were nothing.
As mentioned last Friday, February 20, when I inadvertently let the cat out of the bag regarding the previously worst-kept secret among reporters covering the NFL, Rapoport’s overhyped Dez Bryant rap sheet was the result of a chase for a much bigger prize: The long-rumored video of an incident involving Dez Bryant doing something he shouldn’t have been doing.
Since Friday, much has been written and said about the rumored Dez Bryant video. As it turns out, the NFL was in possession of relevant evidence on the subject several days before I blurted out the existence of the rumor on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas.
In a letter dated February 17, the City of Lancaster, Texas police department produced to NFL Media via the Texas Public Information Act an incident/investigation report from July 2011 regarding a police response to the Lancaster Wal-Mart.
The report mentions that an unknown person called the police to explain that a black female was “being dragged from one vehicle to another vehicle” by a black male. The vehicle the woman was dragged from was a Mercedes registered to Dez Bryant.
When a police officer responded, a Wal-Mart security guard explained that he arrived at the scene with the door to the Mercedes still open and a child’s toy on the ground, but that no one was present. Then, two men pulled up in an Escalade registered to Dez Bryant. The two men, Carl King and Christopher Mitchell, said they received a call from the alleged victim, asking them to pick up “her” Mercedes.
Then, a Bentley arrived in the parking lot, with the alleged victim and Dez Bryant inside. The alleged victim claimed that she had an argument with a man named Alex Penson, that she was not assaulted or injured in any way, and that it was “just an argument” with Penson. The alleged victim claimed she was dropped off at a friend’s house, and that she contacted Bryant to pick her up.
The responding officer determined after talking to all parties that there was no offense, and that everyone was free to go.
The report doesn’t mention the availability of Wal-Mart surveillance video, or the contents of it. Instead, it appears that the responding officer accepted the version(s) supplied by King, Mitchell, Bryant, and the alleged victim, and closed the case.
Most if not all Wal-Mart stores have surveillance cameras blanketing the property. Indeed, the longstanding rumor making the rounds among NFL reporters has been not just that an incident occurred at a Wal-Mart parking lot, but that there is video of it.
In digesting the report, keep this in mind: The report makes no mention of the car to which the victim was allegedly dragged. The video may show the other car. The video may show the person doing the dragging, if dragging actually happened. The video may show whatever preceded the dragging of the woman from “her” Mercedes to another car. The video may show the other car driving away.
Eventually, the video is coming out. In the interim, Bryant, Carl King, Christopher Mitchell, Alex Penson (whoever he is), and the alleged victim can expect to be pursued by members of the media for more details regarding what did and didn’t happen in that Wal-Mart parking lot.