Linebacker's arrest is third recent off-field incident involving a Viking

  • Article by: ROCHELLE OLSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 28, 2013 - 8:17 AM

Erin Henderson is challenging his license revocation after a DWI arrest, while AJ Jefferson, since released, was charged with domestic assault. Jerome Simpson also faces DWI charges.

 

Minnesota Vikings linebacker Erin Henderson has filed a petition in Hennepin County District Court challenging the revocation of his driver’s license because of a DWI arrest in Eden Prairie a week ago, the third recent off-field incident involving a Minnesota Viking.

Anthony Ray “AJ” Jefferson Jr. was charged Wednesday with felony domestic assault for allegedly attacking his girlfriend Monday at their Eden Prairie home. The Vikings released him shortly after his arrest.

And on Nov. 9, another Viking, wide receiver Jerome Simpson, was arrested on drunken-driving charges.

Vikings general manager Rick Spielman called the three incident “unacceptable and disappointing, adding that the team has a “comprehensive approach” to player development and will “take a methodical look” at how to prevent problems.

No criminal charges have been filed against Henderson, and he was not booked into jail after he was stopped at 3:19 a.m. on Nov. 19 in Eden Prairie. After the stop by Eden Prairie police, Henderson took a breath test that showed a blood-alcohol level of .11 percent, above the legal threshold of 0.08 percent.

In a news release, Eden Prairie police said Wednesday that Henderson was stopped for possible drunken driving and possession of a controlled substance. The police didn’t say what the substance was or provide further details pending an investigation. The arrest occurred at the Fredrick-Miller Spring, located north of Flying Cloud Drive on Spring Road in Eden Prairie.

Henderson’s driving privileges were revoked for 90 days beginning Tuesday.

On Tuesday, his lawyer, David Valentini, filed on his behalf what is called an “implied consent” petition. Valentini said he has not seen police reports from the incident and can’t comment on the arrest, but that challenging the license revocation is standard in all DWI arrests.

Valentini’s petition said police didn’t have valid grounds to stop Henderson that morning and he was not “driving, operating or in physical control of a vehicle.” The petition also challenged the officer’s explanation to Henderson and the validity of the test results.

Henderson has requested a hearing within 60 days. Valentini said it’s unlikely the case will be heard before Henderson’s revocation expires.

Jefferson was charged Wednesday with one count of felony domestic assault by strangulation. He was released by the Vikings after being arrested before dawn Monday on suspicion of assaulting his girlfriend of three years.

According to the criminal complaint, Jefferson and his girlfriend argued after an evening out. Jefferson left and she went to bed. She told authorities that she awoke to Jefferson yelling at her for ignoring his text messages and grabbing her around the throat.

According to the complaint, Jefferson picked her up by the neck, moved her off the bed to the floor and continued to physically attack her by grabbing her neck again. She said she did not fight back because she was having a hard time breathing and he is a lot bigger than her.

 

Staff writer Pamela Miller also contributed to this report. Rochelle Olson • 612-673-1747 @rochelleolson

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