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In 911 calls before Richard Sherman’s arrest, wife said Sherman was threatening suicide

<i>Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images</i><br/>Richard Sherman
Getty Images
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
Richard Sherman

By Travis Caldwell, Andy Rose and Amir Vera, CNN

Calls made to 911 before NFL player Richard Sherman’s early Wednesday arrest in King County, Washington, detail his wife’s efforts to protect Sherman from himself and police — and protect herself from Sherman.

The 911 tapes, obtained by CNN, detail the conversations between 911 operators and those close to Sherman, who said that he was intoxicated and “suicidal.”

“The facts involved in this case allege that law enforcement were dispatched to Mr. Sherman’s home in response to suicidal threats by Mr. Sherman. Information indicated that he had been drinking and he was taking antidepressants,” said Kyle Olson, King County deputy prosecuting attorney.

According to a police report, Sherman showed up at his in-laws’ home and got into a verbal argument with his father-in-law, Raymond Moss. Police allege Sherman broke the door to get into the home.

Sherman was later arrested and booked on charges of residential burglary with a domestic violence component, resisting arrest and malicious mischief, according to Redmond Police Chief Darrell Lowe.

Although he was arrested on suspicion of burglary, prosecutors opted to charge Sherman with second-degree criminal trespass instead leaving him facing only misdemeanors and gross misdemeanor charges.

Sherman waived his right to appear at a court hearing Thursday.

To the additional charges of resisting arrest and malicious mischief, prosecutors added one count of DUI Thursday and requested $10,000 bail.

Sherman was ordered to be released from jail on his own recognizance Thursday.

“I think Mr. Sherman is a pillar in this community. He’s a business owner. He’s a husband. He’s a father,” Judge Fa’amomoi Masaniai said during the hearing Thursday. “I’m going to release Mr. Sherman on his own promise to return to court.”

Sherman’s attorney, Cooper Offenbecher, did not comment on the allegations against his client, but said there was nothing to suggest Sherman was a flight risk.

“Mr. Sherman has no criminal history of any kind,” said Offenbecher. “He’s an enduring part of our Greater Seattle community. He’s part of the fabric of our community here around Washington.”

While Masaniai did not require Sherman to post bail, he did order Sherman to not have any contact with Moss, his father-in-law.

Sherman’s wife, Ashley Moss, was present at the hearing Thursday, but declined an invitation to speak to the court.

Olson also revealed in court the existence of a previously sealed Extreme Protection Order on Sherman prohibiting him from having a firearm, although the circumstances of that order were not divulged.

Calls to 911 reveal intensifying situation

The initial 911 call came from a woman who identified herself as Ashley Sherman, Richard’s wife. She said Sherman was “drunk and belligerent” at their house and had consumed two bottles of liquor.

“He’s being aggressive, he’s wrestling with my uncle, he’s threatening to kill himself, he sent text messages saying he’s going to hang himself,” she said.

Ashley Sherman — who said she lives in Maple Valley, Washington — also told the operator that her husband would try to fight police if they arrived, but she added that he was unarmed.

“Please don’t shoot, is what I’m asking,” she said to the operator. “He has no weapons.”

As she was on the phone with the operator, she said Sherman was attempting to leave in a vehicle.

After the call ended, she alerted the operator on a second 911 call that Sherman might go to her parents’ house in Redmond.

Redmond is about 26 miles away from Maple Valley.

In a separate recording a man, who identified himself as Eric Handley, called to tell authorities he was following the two as the pair drove in separate vehicles.

In public tax filings, a person named Eric Handley is listed as director of security for the Richard Sherman Family Foundation.

He told the operator that Sherman was “intoxicated” and using his vehicle repeatedly to block his wife from driving forward, and at one point, the man said that all three were stopped in the middle of the road.

He described Sherman as “suicidal” and provided their location to the operator, and the call ended as the caller said that he could see officers arriving.

CNN has been unable to reach Ashley Sherman and Handley declined to comment Thursday.

Sherman arrested at his in-laws’ house

According to Redmond police, officers located Sherman about 1:50 a.m. Wednesday after receiving a report that he was “attempting to force entry into a family member’s home.”

A Washington State Patrol investigation alleges that Sherman drove while under the influence, arriving at his in-laws’ home.

Police located Sherman outside the house, the police said.

Chief Lowe said officers initially spoke with Sherman and “even joked with him.” But when police told the football star he was under arrest, Lowe said, Sherman tried to walk away and resisted, before getting into an altercation with officers.

“The suspect fought with officers while being taken into custody, resulting in a Redmond K9 team being deployed to assist in gaining control,” the Redmond police statement said.

Lowe said Sherman was treated at a local hospital for minor injuries before he was booked into King County Jail.

Sherman had the “odor of an intoxicant” on his breath at the time of his arrest, the police chief said he was told.

Sherman is also being investigated for a possible hit-and-run and driving under the influence, police said, after an SUV was abandoned after hitting a cement barrier in a work zone.

Washington State Police said troopers went to the home of the in-laws after the heavily damaged SUV was traced to Sherman and after learning that Redmond officers had been called to the residence for an unrelated incident involving the football player. State troopers obtained a search warrant for a sample of Sherman’s blood and results are pending.

In a brief interview with the Seattle Times, Sherman’s wife said, “At this time we’re going to make no statements, except he didn’t harm anybody.”

She added: “My kids were not harmed in the incident. He’s a good person and this is not his character. We’re doing all right, just trying to get him out. I want people to know no one was injured.”

™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Homero De la Fuente, Ray Sanchez and Dave Alsup contributed to this report.

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