Ex-NFL Star Gets No Time In Jail For Fighting Police, Ramming Patrol Car
Lake Mary, FL – A former National Football League (NFL) star, who was arrested for assaulting a police officer and heroin possession after he led officers on a pursuit and rammed into a patrol car, has struck a plea agreement that won’t require him to spend any more time in jail.
Police discovered NFL Super Bowl Champion Barry Cofield, 34, passed out behind the wheel of his Cadillac Escalade at a stop light near Lake Mary Boulevard and Interstate 4 at approximately 2:30 a.m. on July 3, 2018, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
The traffic light cycled several times as Cofield sat with his foot on the brake, but the defensive lineman didn’t move his vehicle.
The officers tried unsuccessfully to wake him for several minutes, so one of the officers started to move his patrol vehicle in front of the Escalade.
Cofield suddenly accelerated through the intersection, and drove off with police following close behind.
He did not exceed the speed limit during the pursuit that ensued, but was swerving between lanes and side-swiped a vehicle near International Parkway and Lake Mary Boulevard, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
Officers eventually stopped the free agent’s vehicle near a housing subdivision, and Cofield rammed into a Seminole County deputy’s patrol vehicle as it positioned to block his escape.
He initially refused commands to exit his vehicle, so one of the officers shattered his window. Cofield then opened the door and was placed into handcuffs.
Two small bags containing a red, powdery substance were removed from Cofield’s pocket, police said.
The substance tested positive for heroin.
Cofield appeared to be under the influence of alcohol, but refused to submit to substance testing, Sports Illustrated reported.
He was charged with driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer, resisting a law enforcement officer without violence, possession of heroin, and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer. He was released from jail later the same morning.
On Feb. 21, Cofield entered into a plea agreement with Seminole County prosecutors, and pleaded no contest to two of the counts against him, and according to court records.
He was sentenced to 12 months of probation for the DUI offense, and his driver’s license will be revoked for a period of six months.
For the heroin possession charge, Cofield was given an opportunity to complete a drug court treatment program, with the expectation that the charge will be dismissed if he successfully graduates from the program, USA Today reported.
The remaining charges against him – including fleeing from police, resisting arrest, and ramming into the patrol car – were dismissed.
If Cofield abides by the conditions of the plea agreement, he won’t serve any additional time in jail.
He faced up to five years in prison if he would have been convicted of all the charges against him, TMZ reported.
Cofield played ten NFL seasons with the Washington Redskins and the New York Giants, including the Giants’ 2008 Super Bowl victory, according to Sports Illustrated.
He last played a game in 2015, the Orlando Sentinel reported.