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“Bogus” indeed: Marshawn Lynch cleared by police of assault allegation; Seahawks time Ricardo Lockette in a kickoff 40 at 3.93 seconds

Post by Gregg Bell / The News Tribune on Aug. 14, 2014 at 9:24 am with 26 Comments »
August 14, 2014 9:24 am

It started out oddly … and stayed that way.

The assault allegation against Marshawn Lynch that became news Monday morning via an unusual and mostly unsolicited release from the Bellevue Police Department ended Wednesday night. That’s when the Bellevue PD issued a statement ending its investigation and clearing the Seahawks running back of a woman’s allegations he had committed assault and personal-property damage.

“He was not involved in this incident in any way,” the Bellevue PD’s statement read.

So that’s that.

The statement did note the investigation remains open and ongoing. But it no longer will involve Lynch or the Seahawks.

When I was at The Associated Press from 2005-2010, we had the hard-and-fast rule that we didn’t publish unsubstantiated allegations on anyone, until there was a charge or at least an investigation. When the police statement came out Monday, I and News Tribune sports editor Darrin Beene applied the same standard and agreed not to report it (I detailed that process here on the blog Monday). As I wrote then, anyone can accuse anyone else of anything.

What made this situation different was the police department issuing what amounted to a pre-emptive statement of the allegation against Lynch, after what it said was a media inquiry about it, and then stating it was starting an investigation. The AP put this allegation on its national wire because it had been confirmed officially by a law-enforcement agency; it wasn’t merely one citizen accusing another in a heresay manner. And it was now a confirmed investigation by the Bellevue PD.

I wrote Monday about the accusation only after I spoke to the public information officer at the Bellevue Police Department and asked him if the investigator would be speaking to Lynch about it. After all, an “investigation” could mean as little as cursory review of the facts without actually involving Lynch directly. When Officer Seth Tyler told me “We are going to be reaching out and talking to him, yes,” that was the shred of news that to us at the TNT made it worthy of a blog entry and a six-inch story in the next day’s paper.

On Tuesday the Seahawks released their unusually strongly worded rebuttal that the allegations against Lynch were “bogus.” That was indicative of how strong they believed the evidence the team was, that Lynch was adhering to the Seahawks’ training-camp curfew and bed-check requirements this past Saturday night/early Sunday morning in question.

To me, the whole thing is a shame. For many reasons — not the least of which being that assault, especially assault against women, is such serious problem in our society.

Again, I keep getting reminded of one of the lone, confirmed facts amid all this: Anyone can accuse anyone of anything.

Now back to football…

–Before that news broke late last night, I filed for today’s News Tribune a story detailing wide receiver Ricardo Lockette’s true value to the Seahawks right now. That value shows also the sure-fire path by which undrafted, young reserves can make the Super Bowl champions this month: with relentless work on special teams.

Seahawks wide receiver Richardo Lockette (83 in blue, trying to get past Richard Sherman this month in training camp) wowed coaches in last week's exhibition at Denver (AP Photo./Elaine Thompson).
Seahawks wide receiver Richardo Lockette (83 in blue, trying to get past Richard Sherman this month in training camp) wowed coaches in last week’s exhibition at Denver (AP Photo./Elaine Thompson).undrafted Division-II college player’s tale shows the sure-fire for rookies and undrafted players to make the Super Bowl champions this month: through dogged, relentless play on special teams.

Two things that jumped out to me in reporting this one:

1.) Seahawks special-teams coach Brian Schneider timed Lockette running a 3.93 40-yard dash last week in the preseason opener at Denver — over the first 40 yards of his coverage of a kickoff. Sure, it was with a moving-forward start on a kickoff, but … a 3.93?! 

2.) Lockette, the guy who blew up a Saint and then a 49er with crunching hits on punts in last season’s NFC playoffs, says this is his best skill off the football field: “Poetry.” He said he’s good at that because he’s bad at singing and rapping.

–Industrious, energetic TNT intern Evan Thompson had a bigger notebook planned for yesterday from practice, but unfortunately space limitations in today’s paper reduced his day in Renton to a three-dot notebook at the end of the Lockette story. It includes Thompson’s news that center Max Unger expects to play Friday’s exhibition in Seattle against San Diego. Unger had been out from last Wednesday into this Tuesday with a groin strain. The notes also include Pete Carroll telling Seattle’s KJR radio on Wednesday that left tackle Russell Okung won’t play Friday. Okung returned last week to practice for the first time since offseason toe surgery.

Intern Thompson (on Twitter at @evanthompson_11)  is a senior at Central Washington University. Look for more work from him in the News Tribune soon.

–John Boyle of The Herald in Everett writes one way to affront Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin is to label him as merely a slot receiver.

–Veteran writer and reporter Claire Farnsworth of talked to wide receiver Percy Harvin, who says “I’ve actually reached some gears that I didn’t know I had. I’m feeling very, very fast right now.” If that proves to be true, that would be bad news for opposing defensive coordinators, eh?

–The team has a walk-through practice scheduled to go from noon-1:15 p.m. today in Renton. I will be there.




Leave a comment Comments → 26
  1. Does anybody outside of the NW have Directv & subscribe to their sports pack to watch Root Sports NW? For years I’ve watched “Seahawks All Access ” but this year it’s blacked out for me in LA. Dtv doesn’t know how to fix it.. Is anybody else experiencing this issue? I’m able to watch Mariners All Access without any problem. mocarob at hotmail

  2. doubledink says:

    Gregg, your passion, principles and respect for others shows in your writing. I am glad you are steering this rowboat.

  3. Southendzone says:

    Hey Gregg,

    With your experience as a journalist, does the media have the ability to comb over these type of police reports? Are they public record at some point? Say i walk down to BPD and say that John Ryan’s dog crapped on my lawn, is there a public document that anyone can look at and see this complaint?

    What I’m getting at, is was this “media inquiry” a result of some kind of BPD leak to the media, or just a busy journalist looking into stuff?


  4. Dukeshire says:

    Echo doubledink.

  5. FleaFlicker says:

    Gregg, Good update. And awesome of you to give the intern some props. We’ve all been on the bottom rung of the ladder at some point and it’s cool that you made a point to give the kid some recognition.

  6. montanamike2 says:

    Duke are you on DTV, do you get everything? I tried years ago but they blacked out all the Seattle stuff and i haven’t tried since.

  7. NewJerseyHawk says:

    I have DirecTV back here in NJ and have those channels…I keep forgetting to watch the all Access, but I will check and confirm whether it’s on here.

    Typically when there are incorrect blackouts on the Fox regional channels or channels like Root, it’s because the channel settings for you in LA are somehow set incorrectly….It’s definitely a DirecTV item as it’s happened to me on occassion with blackouts of local games that are in my market (usually NY or PHILA). As an example, they are supposed to blackout games in my NY market, so that you are forced to watch the game on the local cable channel (whether it’s MSG or YES network etc.) For you in LA they also blackout some games for some reason that are in your market back east, but I don’t have the energy to call unless it’s something I absolutely have to watch.

    Sometimes they will have a setting where if you ordered the MLB sports package for Mariners games and you don’t have the premium channel set up for Root, as soon as the game ends, they will zap the channel so you don’t get extra coverage of the channel, while providing the MLB game coverage you pay for.

    I would call them and make sure you are not blacked out on any other regional Root channels, dependent on your package that is set up. My guess is there are other channels you are supposed to get beyond Root in other markets as well.

  8. LouieLouie says:

    I had commented about being concerned of Lynch going into self-destruct mode. The report from Bellevue, coupled with his hold out, prompted that concern. Both of those issues have been resolved and I’m glad that Lynch has stayed on solid footing. My concerns are gone. I hope Lynch rushes for a career high (and gets a nice financial bonus).

    I am bothered that the Bellevue PD had released the report in the first place. It appears that they have slandered Marshawn Lynch, if for no other reason, through negligence, by releasing the report. I hope that there are some repercussions.

  9. I believe that the Seahawks website has a link (in the Video menu) to all of the All Access shows (in segments); at least it did through the Super Bowl last year. I think it was up each week by Thursday. For anyone else (like me) who is not local and so can’t see the local TV shows (like on Root), it’s the only way I’ve been able to find All Access.

  10. doubledink says:

    John Clayton was probably gleefully clapping his hands in anticipation of ML getting slammed by this accusation.

    OK, snarkyness off.

  11. montanamike2 says:

    LouieLouie i had the same worries about Lynch and i’m glad the Hawks put out that statement ahead of time. I think that will improve his chemistry with the FO this year. doubledink you’re probably right about Clayton, he seems kind of anti-beastmode.

  12. banosser says:

    Snarkiness valid

  13. Gregg Bell says:

    Thanks doubledink, Dukeshire, FleaFlicker. Appreciate that.

    Southendzone: Yes, these complaints and subsequent police reports are public records that news organizations can request through the Freedom of Information Act. Thing is, police often redact swaths of their reports, sometimes to the point they are useless.

    Good, and long-time, crime-beat reporters have contacts in PDs that often “leak” issues like this. I and my colleagues on the Seahawks beat really aren’t sure which outlet made the “media inquiry” that triggered the initial Bellevue PD statement on the accusation about Lynch. No one is claiming it, and I can tell you I don’t spend my mornings calling cops asking what Seahawks they may or may not know about. Not my cup of tea.

    Thanks for asking.

  14. montanamike2 says:

    Classy Gregg.

  15. jawpeace says:

    Love the good news on Lynch which I figured would be as it came to be, and Marsh having just a slight sprain. Although cloudy with rain it feels like pure sunshine!

  16. HawkfaninMT says:

    Looks like Bellevuereporter made the initial inquiry. This story explains the process rpetty wel as far as I can tell.

    I will second the impressiveness of the tone and professionalism on this blog of late. Well done Gregg!

    HawkfaninMT (11B)

  17. I just found out that the NFL has new blackout rules. All Access is only available in the Seattle/Portland areas. Like somebody mentioned, I heard you can watch the show thru but I’ve always recorded them on my DVR in HD and included them on the Blu-rays I make of each game.. I guess no more..

  18. PixelDummy says:

    From Tim Booth’s Twitter account:

    “#Seahawks rookie Cassius Marsh practiced today and could play tomorrow vs San Diego”

  19. Wow! Not much of a sprain if he’s already back…good to hear!

  20. montanamike2 says:

    Great news!

  21. chuck_easton says:


    A person tweeted on Monday that Lynch was arrested. He sent that tweet to PFT, Glazer at Fox, and a few other media people.

    Someone in the media called the BPD to confirm/deny this report.

    BPD felt obligated to correct the misinformation that Lynch was arrested, but was simply named.

    So, where does this leave things? BPD can’t be held accountable. They did not trumpet their big name ‘pinch’ of the evening. What about the media that called the PD? Again, they were following up on a tweet from some guy in Seattle.

    The question would be if Lynch wanted to make an issue of this could he go after this CPA (I will not name him) in Seattle that tweeted this out to the world? He could. It would at least get the person to spill who he got the ‘tip’ from.

    The person that made the complaint can be investigated to determine if it was intentional or mistaken identity. You know, all 28 year old, 5’11” 230 pound muscular, guys with corn rows look alike…(sarcasm here…don’t attack) and the guy WAS wearing a 24 jersey.

    But the best bet is that Lynch will just let this slide.

    The criminal charge for filing a false police report is usually a misdemeanor and a fine at worst so nothing of consequence will happen to the accuser.

    I’d go after the CPA who sent the message out to the world! A CPA has money. :)

  22. jawpeace says:

    Mocarob, thanks as I live in Eugene, OR and last night at 10:30 I was all set to watch the Hawk show and instead it was Mariner all access. I was kind of irritated and thought it was a program mistake. Now I know. To me this is another dumb move by the NFL. Blacking out games that do not sell out I can kind of understand the NFL side. But blacking out programs that promote the NFL and its teams is beyond stupid.

  23. doubledink says:

    That last line is spoken like a true lawyer. lol

  24. Jawpiece, it was on again 330am & 630am. (of course I couldn’t watch it)
    I set the DVR to autorecord everything with the keyword seahawks.

  25. Interesting idea presented by chuck, to sue a tweeter over a false tweet. But we all know Twitter is no more than gossip, dispensed instantly. Twitter would say the same, otherwise they are in the position of validating tweet content for accuracy. If that is all Twitter is, how can a user be faulted for throwing out unsubstantiated gossip? The lesson here is never take anything on Twitter seriously.

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