Talib vigorously denies allegations through attorney

Published: March 31st, 2011
By Bucs Beat Feed

Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib vigorously denied allegations that he fired a hand gun last week during a shooting incident in Texas that led to his arrest.

Talib's attorneys, Pittsburgh sports attorney Jay Reisinger and Dallas criminal attorney Frank Perez, issued a statement on behalf of the 25-year old pro Thursday.

Until Thursday, Talib and his attorneys had declined comment since the arrest warrant was issued on Tuesday.

Talib on Wednesday surrendered to Garland police on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and was released after posting $25,000 bail. 

The statement was critical of media reports following the incident:

"On March 30, 2011, Aqib Talib voluntarily reported to law enforcement authorities in Dallas County, Texas to address certain charges that have been lodged against him," the statement said. "It is important to note that these charges are only allegations, allegations that Aqib vigorously denies. Given that the charges are only allegations, we are deeply troubled that certain members of the media have jumped to unfair conclusions concerning Aqib. Aqib is confident that once all of the facts are known, this matter will be resolved favorably and in an expeditious fashion.  Aqib remains very committed to his family and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization.  Given the sensitive nature of this matter, we cannot comment any further.''

Talib and his mother, Okolo, are charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after police say they took turns firing shots at Shannon Billings, 40, who describes himself as the common-law husband of Talib's sister, Saran, on March 21. Billings was not hit.

Okolo Talib, 58, also was charged with felony possession of a handgun. She turned herself in on Tuesday and was released on a total of $30,000 bond.

According to the arrest warrants, detectives believe both Talib and his mother fired shots at Billings about 7:30 p.m. on March 21, startling the neighborhood of two-story, brick houses in the 900 block of Green Pond Drive in the Dallas suburb of Garland.

Billings told detectives Talib arrived on the scene first, pointed a 9mm handgun at him and said he was going to strike him with it. When Talib swung the handgun at Billings, it slipped out of his hand, falling to the ground.

Billings told detectives he picked up the handgun, which had jammed after striking a wooden fence. Talib continued to try to fight Billings, the warrant stated, when Okolo Talib arrived at the location, "jumped out of her car with a gun in her hand and eventually shot the gun at him."

Talib, the warrant says, then grabbed the gun from his mother and fired it at Billings several times. Billings ran into a wooded area, "fearing for his life." When he emerged, Aqib and Okolo were gone, according to the warrant.

Billings remains in the Dallas County jail on $2,500 bond after being charged with aggravated assault and interfering with an emergency call earlier in the day on March 21. Billings is a registered sex offender with the Texas Department of Public Safety. In 1998, when he was 27, he was convicted of sexual assault on a 14-year-old girl and served probation.

The cases are being filed in Dallas County and will be presented in 4-6 weeks to a grand jury, which will decide whether to indict, Garland police spokesman Joe Harn said.

-- RICK STROUD, Times Staff Writer