Darius Fleming disappointed his tale of heroism was doubted

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Patriots linebacker Darius Fleming didn’t seek any attention when he suffered a cut on his leg while pulling a woman out of her car following a highway crash. But he got some attention, and not all of it was positive.

Shortly after the story went public on Wednesday, some media outlets began to question whether Fleming’s story was true. Initially there were reports that no local police departments had responded to an accident meeting the description Fleming gave, but the Walpole, Massachusetts police department said that there was, in fact, a woman who had been trapped in her car and that a person who appeared to be a Patriots player had come to her rescue, kicked in her window and pulled her to safety.

After he heard about those who questioned whether he made up the story for attention, Fleming was taken aback and said he never wanted the story to be in the media in the first place.

“I did something because I thought it was the right thing to do, not because I wanted any credit or anything. That’s not me, and that’s not what I was looking for,” Fleming told ChicagoFootball.com. “It just kind of happened like that, and it was kind of upsetting to see some of the things that people were saying about it and that I was lying. It was just disappointing to think that people would think I would do something like that.”

Fleming told teammates he saw smoke and hurried to pull the woman out of her car because he was worried it could ignite, and some outlets seized on that as an inconsistency because no police reports said anything about a woman pulled from a burning car. But the Walpole police said Fleming was describing what he saw and just unaware that some airbags are packed with a talcum powder-like substance to keep them from sticking, and when they deploy, that powder can fill the car and appear to be smoke.

“I’ve never experienced an airbag blowing or anything. I just saw the lady freaking out in the car, and I saw smoke in the car, so that’s what made me react the way I did,” he said.

Before the Walpole police confirmed the story, TMZ published a quote comparing Fleming to Manti Te’o, who famously mourned the death of a girlfriend who turned out not to exist. But Fleming’s story was true.

92 responses to “Darius Fleming disappointed his tale of heroism was doubted

  1. Millions of ignorant morons and thousands of media trolls disappointed Fleming’s story is true.

  2. He’s absolutely right to be disappointed. Solid young man here, and I fully expect him to do the right thing every time, despite a world that often only wants to see the bad in everything.

  3. At least Trollin’ Ben Volin apologized for his Tweet but TMZ Sports never apologized. Instead they claimed the “Cops changed their story and questions remain.”

    TMZ doesn’t have to worry about journalistic integrity when they’re too afraid to put an author’s name on the byline.

  4. ……….a guy who jumps into action to help someone without any regard for his own safety ….that’s called a hero. Darius, you are the man. the folks who doubt the event are the SAME people who wouldn’t have stopped and helped. They call them cowards.

  5. The media is made up people who are not smart enough to do math so they got ‘Arts’ degrees. Arts degrees are like participation trophies. All you need to get one is show up. They do not signify intelligence.

  6. My favorite part of the TMZ reportage was when they quoted the Foxboro PD saying it looked like he made it up, when the accident took place in ANOTHER TOWN.

    There are hundreds of thousands of cities, towns, counties and municipalities where the accident didn’t happen. Why not get anonymous comments from those police departments too. TMZ made up the quote.

    Last week the story was the foxboro PD covers up for the Pats. This week they are bashing a player. COme on

  7. In other words, the media is unfairly criticizing someone, and backing up their reporting with circumstantial details that are denied context.

    That’s your average Thursday…

  8. When people live in an environment of deceit and dishonesty, they take it for granted that everybody is a liar.

  9. “Sources close to the accident, however, report that the airbag was nearly 0.4 psi underweight and therefore did not fully “deploy” as alleged by the Patriots.” — BSPN

  10. Nice job, Darius. There should be more people like you around who jump in to help someone in need and fewer people who always want to look for something negative in order to devalue what others have done.

  11. It is unfortunate that we live in a world that a Good Samaritan has to have a mountain of documentation to prove a story that they were reluctant to even share true. It is even more unfortunate that there are enough people that make false claims in pursuit of fame to make the doubts feel reasonable.

  12. Thing is Manti Te’o and Darius Fleming, though both ridiculed in some corners, were entirely innocent of purposely attempting to manipulate the media or public perception.

    Te’o got played by someone he trusted that was not worthy of that trust – and – Fleming selflessly leapt to action to try to help another soul(s).

    In the modern era, cynicism of motive has never been stronger. Malevolent intent is seen where it doesn’t exist – and the social media capacities of the modern era give it legs, and it takes root.

  13. When you write:

    Shortly after the story went public on Wednesday, some media outlets began to question whether Fleming’s story was true.

    …my question, why so obtuse? Don’t give 30 days in the hole, it wasn’t some media outlets, it was TMZ. Credit where credit is due and not.

  14. As a person who has filled out 100’s of PARS (police accident reports) the heroic part does NOT go into the body of the story.

    Amazing the journalistic idiot could not CONSULT a police officer to see how it all works.

    PS

    I’ve pulled two people out of cars. One clearly on fire and the other smoking. I was merely a witness (and a witness in a civil matter is a witness only if one wants to be a witness) on both PARS.

  15. We can’t even let a guy help a woman out of a busted up car anymore without overanalyzing it.

    I hope he has a big day and is instrumental in a Patriots victory over the Broncos on Sunday.

  16. Nonetheless, the NFL is currently measuring the PSI in the tires of the vehicle in the accident . . . .

  17. Not sure what is more pathetic, people doubting a man that never publicized the event in the first place or trolls that think TMZ is a news source.
    Note to idiots: If you think TMZ is a legit news source your credibility is worse than theirs and that is saying something.

    Would love to see Volin walking through that locker room today.

  18. Oh yes. I think it is highly appropriate to compare WW2 combat veterans with a guy who kicked out a window and helped a lady out of her car. Totally reasonable. And of course why would he ever have to talk about it when he shows up at work with his lacerated calf. Riiiiiiiiiight.

    He grandpa, he didn’t talk about it publicly until TMZ made up their story.

  19. Reporters get bad info and screw up all the time relaying stories that are inaccurate. It happens. The issue here is this story attacked Fleming’s reputation and character. You better be 100% right when doing that. Especially when the same thing happened 12 months ago to the region’s greatest player ever. We’ll be the ones to hold you accountable for your incompetance.

  20. Pats players should ignore Volin today and the rest of the week, but they’re too classy and they won’t.

    TMZ is known trash, so what they did was to be expected. But that wasn’t to be expected of Volin, who has been the beat reporter for some time, but he showed his true colors. Disappointing.

  21. Just hope that an organization like TMZ get sued like hell and go bankrupt. Yes, people might lose jobs but it is getting ridiculous how they go scot-free regularly without any repercussions.

  22. “I’m sure the Patriots would of fined him if he wasn’t available Sunday. Or realized him”

    One thing is for sure, I always value the opinion of someone that types “would of” and can’t spell “release”.

    Thank god you’re here.

  23. You are a good person. You did what most wouldn’t and the haters are not good people

    God, the person you helped ,the family-
    And you know what you did

    That is all that matters

    No need to seek hero status

    Thank God you were there and stay humble

  24. markjones2000 says:
    Jan 21, 2016 2:46 PM
    Pats players should ignore Volin today and the rest of the week, but they’re too classy and they won’t.

    TMZ is known trash, so what they did was to be expected. But that wasn’t to be expected of Volin, who has been the beat reporter for some time, but he showed his true colors. Disappointing.

    Volin became a Hateroid recently. Trying to out-Tanguay Tanguay.

  25. Quality football players, quality people. The defending champions are going to their fifth straight AFC title game. Spoiled in Patriot nation.

  26. TMZ…classic reflection of today’s superficial society of immediate judgement sans facts. TMZ writes stories to destroy characters and lives, especially those who don’t fall in line with their political agenda.
    TMZ has NO business reporting on athletes since most of TMZ’s employees are lard-azzes.

  27. Well it sure wasn’t a “fiery” crash. At least he didn’t brag about it.. Now who was the athlete that jumped off a balcony and broke both ankles? lmao

  28. As I have said many times, even Brady (one of the best ever) will forever be tarnished by the cheating him and his coach have done.

    Unfortunately a great act like this is tarnished by the same brush, if you are a Patriot who is going to believe anything that happens??

  29. mataug says:
    Jan 21, 2016 2:50 PM

    Just hope that an organization like TMZ get sued like hell and go bankrupt. Yes, people might lose jobs but it is getting ridiculous how they go scot-free regularly without any repercussions.
    ——————

    They go scot-free because everyone with even the slightest bit of rationality knows that TMZ, much like The Enquirer and the Weekly World News, is just a bunch of claptrap.

  30. Okay…

    For all those saying something like “heroes don’t talk about it….heroes keep it to yourself…blah blah blah”

    How exactly should this man have proceeded here?

    He obviously had to tell the Patriots staff about the laceration in his calf and as such how it happened. TMZ somehow gets a hold of it and makes up their own version of events effectively defaming this guy in public. Then he’s asked about it by the media (obviously).

    What should he have done to satisfy you people?

  31. The disappointing part is how few journalists actually do their jobs. Even the Deadspin article that ended up confirming his story was written with the vibe like the reporter didn’t feel like it was really her job to track things down. It’s like reporters expect things just handed to them.

  32. Traditional American values = help an old lady carry groceries or rescue a kitten from a tree

    New American values = do a good deed and get crucified for it.

    Of course the Manti Teo’s of the world don’t help any.

  33. Good for you Darius. Steeler nation appreciates your bravery, as I’m sure all fans of other teams and human decency do as well. Sure would love to see more stories like this instead of the usual garbage we are force fed constantly. Your parents should be very proud. Good luck to all fans of this weekends final four.

  34. silverhornet says: Jan 21, 2016 3:02 PM

    He could actually be sued by the woman if she suffered an injury or the injury worsened as a result of him pulling her out of the car.
    ………………………………………………………………….

    I love this post. an honorable man helps a person in need. then the lawyer points out that the woman could sue him if he had created another injury by helping. inaccurate, the good Samaritan act covers for anyone, assuming someone may be in a life and death situation. I assume silverhornet wouldn’t object if it was he or his loved one who was assisted.

  35. Fleming is a hero that acted selflessly.

    I’m sure he would’ve acted in the same manner if he was wearing a browns, Raiders, Titans or in this instance, a patriots jersey.

    The bloviating buffoons (aka patsy fans) fail to see this point.

    Instead they choose to discount the heroic act of the individual and chalk it up to Fleming’s good fortune that he plays for the patriots.

    “Patriot way” they spew when it is convenient.

    However, when their players are found to be criminals and their owner acts in a manner unbecoming of an upstanding member of the community, they choose to turn their head.

    Now, you go shovel some snow and I’ll go surf.

  36. classy guy that didn’t want media attention. TMZ would rather cover the media who..s who have a publicist call in advance when they spend a day with the ” stars to encourage peace ” campaigns, than check to make sure a story may be accurate

  37. You’re a Patriot, get over it. With the truth seldom rearing it’s ugly head out of that place, you were bound to get caught up in it yourself.

    Good on ya, but try and recognize your surroundings. You’ll look smarter next time.

  38. fanofsportsman says:
    Jan 21, 2016 3:14 PM

    As I have said many times, even Brady (one of the best ever) will forever be tarnished by the cheating him and his coach have done.

    Unfortunately a great act like this is tarnished by the same brush, if you are a Patriot who is going to believe anything that happens??
    ————————–

    Rational people.

    No one with the Patriots is, or ever will be “tarnished” by the machinations of a few jealous bozos in the NFL.

  39. Lazy “media” relying on some desk jockey in a police station to do their job. It literary took 5 minutes online on the Walpole police log to find the accident. These people don’t bother fact finding or doing real journalist work, they want someone else to do it it for them. So someone working the phones at the police station doesn’t want to dig through every log so they jump to the conclusion that he’s lying. It’s a sad commentary on the state of the news. We’ve become headline driven and too lazy to read the facts. I hope none of you get accused of committing a crime, because soon enough jurors will only hear the sensational testimony and not bother with the facts.

  40. silverhornet says:
    Jan 21, 2016 3:02 PM

    He could actually be sued by the woman if she suffered an injury or the injury worsened as a result of him pulling her out of the car.
    _____________________________

    Massachusetts has Good Samaritan laws in place. No, he wouldn’t get sued.

  41. I’m saying this as an Eagles fan; Patriots haters have reached a new level of patheticness. I hope they win the SB just so that clown Goodell has to hand the Lombardi over to Brady and these media trolls cry in their soup. BTW, Darius Fleming, you’re awesome.

  42. define irony: people who jumped on the bagging manti bandwagon, based on stories written by Deadspin and TMZ, now trashing both those sites defending his teammate at ND.

  43. We live in a cynical time, sadly.

    For me, it’s not about the magnitude or lack thereof of what he did. It’s that when the situation arose, he responded – he didn’t choose to look the other way, and he did something. Once you do that, you know you are that kind of person. The Pats have that kind of person playing for them.

    Good on him, I say.

  44. slick50ks says:
    Jan 21, 2016 3:45 PM

    You’re a Patriot, get over it. With the truth seldom rearing it’s ugly head out of that place, you were bound to get caught up in it yourself.

    Good on ya, but try and recognize your surroundings. You’ll look smarter next time.

    ——————–

    Not sure if you noticed, but this has nothing to do with football. You have to separate fan based sports rivalries from real life sometimes.

  45. fanofsportsman says:
    Jan 21, 2016 3:14 PM

    As I have said many times, even Brady (one of the best ever) will forever be tarnished by the cheating him and his coach have done.

    Unfortunately a great act like this is tarnished by the same brush, if you are a Patriot who is going to believe anything that happens??

    ————–

    Fleming’s act of kindness has nothing to do with how you feel about a sports team.

  46. If I get in a fender bender where I am not injured and there’s no smoke or danger and some guy comes and kicks my window in and runs away before the cops show up, I’m assuming he was trying to rob me.

  47. “If I get in a fender bender where I am not injured and there’s no smoke or danger and some guy comes and kicks my window in and runs away before the cops show up, I’m assuming he was trying to rob me.”

    Are you kidding me right now?

    Where does it say he “ran off before the cops show up”? Where does it say it was a fender bender? Did you read the part about the powder from the airbag that is commonly confused for being smoke?

    You people just absolutely LOVE making crap up and posting it on the internet. It is becoming a sickness for many of you. Just so freakin’ addicted to lying and melting down about everything Patriots related.

    Jesus.

  48. mullman76 says:
    Jan 21, 2016 3:44 PM

    Fleming is a hero that acted selflessly.

    I’m sure he would’ve acted in the same manner if he was wearing a browns, Raiders, Titans or in this instance, a patriots jersey.

    The bloviating buffoons (aka patsy fans) fail to see this point.

    Instead they choose to discount the heroic act of the individual and chalk it up to Fleming’s good fortune that he plays for the patriots.

    “Patriot way” they spew when it is convenient.

    However, when their players are found to be criminals and their owner acts in a manner unbecoming of an upstanding member of the community, they choose to turn their head.
    _______________________________

    Actually, most of the people on here (Patriots fans and fans of other teams) are just saying he did a good job, no matter what jersey he wears on game day. It seems the only people griping about it are those that just can’t stand the Patriots. They’re the ones having a hard time looking past the color of the jersey he wears when playing. He did a good deed completely separate from football.

    As for your last comment, when Aaron Hernandez was arrested, he was immediately cut from the team, and fans turned in their jerseys (which the team replaced for free in their pro-shop). So I’m not sure what you’re referring to…?

  49. only1ringhawkslol says:
    Jan 21, 2016 2:28 PM

    A hero does not talk about his “heroic acts”.
    ***********************
    He did not go public with this. Third parties did and then the media jumped on it. The man had a laceration on his leg, was on the injury report for last weekend’s playoff game and we knew nothing of the reason for his listed injury.

  50. I am a Broncos fan and am tired of so many Pats posters bragging about their team etc., etc., etc.. But this dude is truly worth bragging about. If he gets introduced at the game on Sunday in Denver I, along with thousands of Broncos fans, will be saluting this guy.

  51. The sad reality appears to be that journalistic integrity is dead – overrun by the need for being first, trending, or just plain pageviews. This story is just another indicator.

  52. If it was Kraft or Belicheat they would only stop to try to steal from the lady while she was trapped.

    Jones and his cokehead brother would stop if they thought there was something they could get high enough to OD on.

    If delusional patriots fans who pretend that they had anything to do with any of the “wins”* of the disgrace cheating team they nut hug want to say Darius’ actions are a reflection of the “Patriot Way”, just remember so is drafting, employing and extending a serial murderer named Hernandez who was catching bodies before he was even in the NFL.

    Maybe they thought his gang tattoos and people around him getting shot were just coincidence.

  53. All the Broncos that have been busted for drugs and suspended,D.Wolfe,Vonn Miller,Peyton should be on that list soon and your getting on Jones.Antonio Smith was being investigated for child abuseWho knew Hernandez was going to turn out like that.Wow maybe you should seek counseling or anger management.keep hating were the champs baby.

  54. I don’t understand the comparison to Manti Te’o.

    Te’o didn’t pull a ruse, he got “catfished”. He was played by a mentally damaged friend who pretended to be a woman who Te’0 naively accepted as his “girlfriend” even though he never met her. He didn’t con anyone, he is the one that got conned.

    Fleming is either telling the truth or he isn’t. There’s no backstory where we’ll find out that the car wreck was staged by someone to trick Fleming into thinking he saved someone.

  55. A small Massachusetts town has a police department that will support a fabricated story told by a Massachusetts NFL team’s player? Nah, impossible, I say. OUTRAGEOUS! Local cops never cover for local NFL players on local NFL teams that get themselves into trouble. Right? I mean, with the exception of all 32 NFL cities where it happens all the time, it literally never happens.

  56. There is an angle here where the haters could use the fact of what Fleming did (would mean they have to stop denying it though) to criticize the Patriots players and possibly get off a shot at Brady. The story would be their proof. But they don’t see it. Instead they are reduced to just twisting things in a petty mean way, and really straining to do it. So if hating on the Patriots is to be treated as a challenge my rip I guess has to be that the Patriots have really stupid haters. Low standards there.

    Good job Fleming! Go Pats!!! Somebody give Roger a rag so he can start polishing that trophy. We want it spotless.

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