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Moss Won't Face Felony Charges

Jurisprudence: Incident with traffic officer results in misdemeanor counts for Viking star.

September 26, 2002|From Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — Randy Moss walked out of jail whistling, charged with two misdemeanors instead of a possible felony for allegedly pushing a traffic officer a half-block with his car.

The Minnesota Viking star receiver won't even miss a game.

Moss was released Wednesday from the Hennepin County jail after spending the night.

He was charged with careless driving and failure to obey a traffic officer.

Police said they found a small quantity of marijuana in Moss' car, an amount that would qualify as a petty misdemeanor, but no charge was immediately filed.

Moss had been arrested on suspicion of assault with a dangerous weapon, a felony.

He whistled as he left jail and walked through a pack of reporters.

"You'll hear my side later," Moss said. "I was treated bad."

After retrieving some belongings from a van, he left in a car.

Minnesota Coach Mike Tice said Moss will start Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks but will be disciplined for missing part of Wednesday's practice. He did not reveal the discipline.

Allowing Moss to play, Tice said, is "an appropriate course of action" based on the lesser charges.

"I'm still disappointed," Tice said. "This doesn't change the fact that we've been dealing with this for the last 24 hours, that I slept very little last night."

Moss wasn't available to reporters at the team's practice facility. Tice said Moss apologized to his teammates and coaches after practice, and would make a statement today.

Moss wound up in jail after his run-in with the traffic officer during Tuesday evening rush hour on a downtown Minneapolis street.

The officer stepped in front of Moss' car to stop him from making an illegal turn.

Moss used his car to slowly push her along the street, stopping when she fell to the ground, police spokeswoman Cyndi Barrington said.

Barrington said 27-year-old Amy Zaccardi--a city employee but not a police officer--was not seriously hurt. One witness called the situation "surreal."

Another said he didn't believe Moss intended to hurt Zaccardi.

County prosecutor Amy Klobuchar said the case was turned over to the city for lesser charges because there wasn't enough evidence to prove Moss intended to hurt the officer.

Moss could get 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine on each of the misdemeanors if convicted.

A felony assault conviction might have meant 21 months in prison.

Under NFL rules, Moss will undergo mandatory "evaluation" because he was charged.

Any disciplinary action would follow a conviction or guilty plea.

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