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Vikings' Taylor faces three charges

  • Article by: Judd Zulgad
  • Star Tribune
  • January 3, 2007 - 12:51 PM

Vikings receiver Travis Taylor, charged with two gross misdemeanors and a misdemeanor after being arrested in Minneapolis early on New Year's Day, appeared in court today at the Hennepin County Government Center and had his pretrial hearing set for Jan. 23.

Taylor, 27, is charged with assault in the fourth degree (assault on a peace officer) and obstructing the legal process, both gross misdemeanors; and misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

Taylor led the Vikings with 57 catches in the 2006 season.

According to the official complaint, Taylor was arrested outside the Karma nightclub in Minneapolis just after 3 a.m. on Jan. 1 after police were called to break up a large and unruly crowd.

Officers were attempting to clear the area of traffic, and Taylor was hanging from the door of a limousine bus, talking to others inside. A Minneapolis police officer asked Taylor to either board the bus or get off so it could leave. After three warnings, the officer tried to pry Taylor off the bus. Taylor resisted, but the officer was able to remove him and walk him toward a squad car.

Taylor pushed the officer, according to the complaint, and was warned the officer would use a taser if Taylor did not cooperate. Taylor pulled his arm away from the officer, who deployed the taser twice. The second time, Taylor fell to the ground and was warned that he would be tased again if he did not put his hands behind his back. Taylor complied and was handcuffed.

Taylor, the fourth member of the Vikings to have a run-in with the law this season, spoke to reporters later on New Year's Day as Vikings players cleared out their lockers.

Approached in the locker room, the receiver called the arrest "a misunderstanding," and termed it "an unfortunate situation."You've just got to deal with it," Taylor said, denying there was any altercation. "It wasn't anything like that," he said. "[I was] just in the limo and got pulled out. We'll discuss that later and deal with the situation."

The other three Vikings to get in trouble since training camp began include receiver Koren Robinson (since released), safety Dwight Smith and defensive backs coach Joe Woods. Robinson was arrested for drunken driving and fleeing police in August, and Smith received a citation for indecent conduct later that month. In December, Woods was arrested and charged with two counts of driving while impaired.

Vikings coach Brad Childress had to again address questions about his "culture of accountability" after Taylor's arrest.

"We are moving toward that culture of accountability," Childress said Tuesday. "I mentioned to you sometimes when you are laying down a new program it is not always comfortable. ... I think all those guys know what expectations we have. Does it eliminate 53 guys from ever stepping over a line that's not a good place? It's not going to do that, but I believe they know the difference between right and wrong.

"I don't want to comment specifically on Travis, although I will tell you that supervision-wise he was with his mother and with another player and his mother while he was down there. So we will see how that all plays itself out."

The maximum penalty for a gross misdemeanor is a year in jail and a $3,000 fine, and the maximum penalty for a misdemeanor is 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

--Staff Writer Margaret Zack contributed to this report.

Judd Zulgad • jzulgad@startribune.com

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