Former NFL cornerback Dimitri Patterson is suing ESPN over its report that claimed he made a “courtroom escape attempt.” Patterson played for a number of NFL teams, including the Miami Dolphins and Cleveland Browns, for nearly a decade.
ESPN’s Aug. 2017 story, “Dimitri Patterson in custody after courtroom escape,” reported that Patterson “injured two officers while trying to abruptly exit a Miami-Dade courthouse and avoid being arrested, according to local police.” Patterson was in a family court hearing.
ESPN declined to comment to iMediaEthics. iMediaEthics wrote to Patterson for more information.
iMediaEthics obtained a copy of the lawsuit, filed March 28, which calls for $50 million. Paterson’s lawsuit says he called for ESPN for retract the story and claims ESPN’s article “is false and defamatory in its overall portrayal of DP as a violent, impulsive, unstable person.” The lawsuit continues, “The article is also false in many of its particulars. This action is predicated both on what The Article communicates as a whole, including the headline, captions, and the numerous defamatory statements concerning DP contained within the article.”
The Miami-Dade police department provided iMediaEthics with a copy of the police report of the incident, which said two officers were injured in the incident attempting to handcuff and take Peterson into custody. The lawsuit claims, however, that Patterson “never ran out of a courtroom” or “injure any polices [sic] officers.” Further, Patterson’s lawsuit alleges that there wasn’t “a legal ‘family court’ hearing requiring DP to be at the Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse.”
Patterson is representing himself, according to TMZ.
Hat Tip: Steve Bien-Aime