FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons defensive end John Abraham attributed his arrest on two obstruction charges in Atlanta on Monday to “bad timing.”
However, when pressed, he would not elaborate on the situation that occurred in front of a high-rise where he owns three condominiums.
“I really can’t talk about the situation because we are still going through some legal things, here and there,” Abraham said. “I’m just happy that everybody that knows me and knows what kind of person I am, know the things that I do, so I’d like to kind of leave it at that. I’m just trying to move on to football, continue to be the leader that I’ve been, do the same things and get ready for Carolina.”
When asked by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution to give his side of the story, Abraham was reluctant.
“At this moment, I don’t want to talk about my side of the story,” Abraham said. “Once we get everything verified and get everything going the same way, because we still have a legal situation that we need to get cleared up,” Abraham said. “Sometimes, it’s just bad timing. I’m not going to fault anybody at all. Sometimes things happen in life. Sometimes trying to do the right thing, [doesn’t] end up being the right thing.”
John Chafee of the APD’s Public Affairs Unit said Police were responding to a call about a woman threatening to jump from one of the buildings when Abraham refused to exit the scene. Chafee said police charged Abraham with obstruction of police and obstruction of fire fighters.
Chafee said the charges are misdemeanors. Abraham was booked at the Fulton County Jail and was released early Tuesday after posting $7,500 bond.
Chafee said the woman, who did not jump and was uninjured. She was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital. It is not known if Abraham knew the prospective jumper or if he was just trying to return home.
According to a copy of the police report, Abraham entered the restricted area and was confronted by a firefighter who “repeatedly ordered him to leave the scene.”
Nearby officers then responded and ordered Abraham to leave, according to the police report. The report says Abraham “refused and insisted on continuing [farther] into the scene” at which point police arrested him.
Abraham was “obviously intoxicated,” the arresting officer wrote in the report.
“Like I said, sometimes you just try to do the right thing and don’t worry about that,” Abraham said. “Like I was saying, I’m not trying to knock anybody for trying to do what they were doing. Like I said, it happened. I can’t really go into detail with exactly what’s going on, everybody likes to say this and that. …it was a situation.”
Abraham is the second Falcons player to be arrested in the past weeks.
Gwinnett County police arrested running back Michael Turner early last Tuesday on charges of DUI and speeding.
“I got to talk to [head coach] Mike [Smith] and a lot of people in the organization and people that know me. …it was an altercation and hopefully we can get it out of the way as soon as possible,” Abraham said.
The Falcons are 3-0, one of only three undefeated teams in the NFL.
Since Michael Vick’s 2007 federal arrest on dog fighting-related charges, the team, which is seeking to replace the 20-year-old Georgia Dome with new stadium, has been extremely sensitive to any negative publicity.
“I’m trying not to harp on what happened,” Abraham said. “I’m trying not to, but I will say it was bad timing.”
Finally, Abraham wouldn’t admit to making an error in judgment.
“I can’t say I did or didn’t,” Abraham said. “I’m just going to keep saying it was bad timing. I can’t say exactly what happened. Like I said, we’re going to try to work through it.”
Abraham plans to play on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers 1 p.m. at the Georgia Dome.
“I’ve been playing for 13 years. [I’m coming] off a good game in San Diego,” Abraham said. “Hopefully, I can go back out there and do the same thing.”
Abraham has the support of his teammates.
“We also are going to have each other’s backs,” quarterback Matt Ryan said. “We’ve got a tight knit group of players. Guys are going to make mistakes. It’s going to happen. Hopefully, we don’t make anymore.
“But you’ve got to have each other’s back and when we get here we have to focus on football.”