By Bryanna Fissori
Jermain Taylor has made a much bigger name for himself over the last six months behind a gun than he has in the ring.
The middleweight champion (33-4-1, 20 KOs) was arrested on Monday, January 19th for allegedly firing shots at a fan and pointing the gun at the fan’s one year-old child.
The incident took place at a Martin Luther King Jr Day parade nearby Taylor’s boxing gym in Little Rock, Arkansas. Witnesses say that Taylor appeared to have been drinking and became angered after one of his championship belts, which he was showing to the child, touched the ground. His girlfriend purportedly blamed the child and Taylor pulled a gun on the child’s father, and also threatened to kill all three of their children.
Toya Smith, told the associated press that when Taylor put the gun to her husband, Felton Smith’s head, she knocked it away. Taylor fired several shots into the air.
After the incident Taylor left the scene, but was easily apprehended due to parade traffic. The gun was in his possession. There were witness and even photos of Taylor with the child, which were purportedly taken at his request.
Taylor was charged with five felony counts of aggravated assault, three felony counts of child endangerment, and a misdemeanor for marijuana possession. He was taken to the Pulaski County jail and released on $50,000 bond the following day. That evening prosecutors filed to revoke his bond on a previous arrest for aggravated assault, which took place in August of 2014 when he shot his cousin. The document read,
“Upon the application of the State to Revoke Bond and careful review of the Applications to Revoke Bond, and Affidavit of Verification of Pleading, this Court does order that a warrant be issued for the arrest of Jermain Taylor under Arkansas Rule of Criminal Procedure 9.5 so that the defendant may be brought before this Court for a hearing to determine of there is reasonable cause to believe that the defendant has committed a felony while released on bond pending adjudication of a prior charge.”
Taylor had 24 hours to comply and retuned today (Wednesday, January 21, 2015) to turn himself in and enter a plea of not guilty on all accounts.
Prior to his return to jail Taylor filmed a video in a bathtub, which he posted on social media. He offered an interesting apology and some advice to the MLK parade committee.
“I’m sorry if I let anybody down, hurt anybody, but I make mistakes too,” said Taylor. “The Martin Luther King parade- little kids didn’t even have no candy. Ya’ll need to get it together. I had my little girl out there. Nobody had no candy. I think ya’ll need to do better with the parade. So if you’re disappointed in me, I’m disappointed in you too. . . that boy had no business F#@*ing with us. . . scratch that part. . .”
His next court date for this incident is scheduled for March 20.
The boxer was scheduled to face Sergio Mora on February 6 at the Beau Rivage Casino in Biloxi. DiBella Entertainment has opted to make no attempts to get Taylor reinstated with the Mississippi Athletic Commission and are looking to find a replacement for Mora.
Personal Opinion of Fissori: This recent incident, coupled with the shooting in August could mean, and should mean, the end of Taylor’s boxing career. The fact that this professional athlete was allowed to continue his career nearly unscathed after almost killing his own cousin, and shooting at his own nephew is outrageous. If a court was to actually find that pulling out a gun (and even having possession of one while out on bail for a firearms related charge) in public, at a parade and holding it to someone’s head, and FIRING the weapon was ok, then some judge and/or jury is getting paid a lot of money.
There is no way that this is acceptable. Not under any circumstances and especially not for a professional athlete, regardless of how you feel about the argument of whether or not professional athletes should be held to a higher moral standard. On top of that, why should a professional boxer at Taylor’s level even feel the need to carry a firearm to defend himself or assert dominance against an untrained, average person? This man has knocked out at least 20 men with his bear hands. What does he need a gun for? If he is that worried about being attacked why is he out in public? Maybe he has taken too many shots to he head, which it sad, but does not mitigate the fact that he is a danger to society. Even his fans.