Former NFL Wide Receiver, Mike Williams, Arrested in Hillsborough County, Fla

In early January 2014, former Buffalo Bill and Tampa Bay Buccanneer Mike Williams was charged by the State of Florida with one count of misdemeanor criminal mischief and one count of trespass for a December 13, 2013 incident. The allegations contained in the arrest affidavit noted that at around 7:00 AM Williams responded to the female victim’s home, kicked the front door in, and entered against the will of the homeowner. The victim was on the phone speaking to police, and Williams noticed this. Williams took the victim’s phone away and pushed the victim in the neck area. Police responded on scene until police arrived. The arrest affidavit notes that Williams was charged with “burglary with battery” pursuant to Florida Statutes 810.02(2)(A).

Even though police arrived on scene and felt they had enough information to charge Williams that night, they simply let him go home. There was no further investigation to make at that time, and Williams should have been arrested that morning for burglary with a battery. He broke into someone’s home and hit them. He attempted to stop the victim from calling the police (another possible felony of victim tampering). In Florida, when there is probable cause that these particular actions occurred (which is clear based upon the arrest form), the defendant is to be arrested and held without bond/bail until a proper hearing is done by the Court.

This did not happen here. In fact, quite the opposite.

Williams was allowed to leave the scene of the crime and simply issued a summons to appear in court for two misdemeanor charges: trespass and criminal mischief. Again, this is puzzling as if someone commits a trespass and commits a crime therein (the criminal mischief), it is a burglary under the law of the State of Florida. Williams then subsequently enrolled, was rejected, and re-enrolled in a pre-trial intervention program until his cases was dropped (administratively nolle prossed) for successful completion of a program. This program is for first time offenders and includes terms and conditions such as community service hours, donations, and staying away from a victim. Upon successful completion of the program, all criminal charges are dropped.

This disposition makes zero sense. If the victim in the case was not on board, the State of Florida could not have gone forward on any of these charges. If she was on board, than there was no reason for Williams to get such a unique break by the State of Florida, and especially from law enforcement for failing to arrest him the night in question for the non-bondable offense. Even more puzzling is that the NFL has taken a hardline stance on domestic violence, yet did nothing with this case. While the NFL is doing everything they can to prevent their players from engaging in domestic violence, Mike Williams was never suspended one game for this violent incident.

These facts as alleged in the arrest affidavit are equally terrifying to that of the Ray Rice case – yet there has never been a peep outside of a few random news articles noting Williams was charged with two misdemeanors. In fact, Williams played most of this season as if nothing had occurred.