On the heels of news Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler, Jr. was arrested Tuesday evening for misdemeanor battery, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times who originally reported the incident has also found a previous case of Fowler being arrested for assault from March of 2016.
UPDATE: Court records show Dante Fowler was arrested in March 2016 in Miami Beach on charges of assault on officer/EMT, resisting arrest.— Greg Auman (@gregauman) July 19, 2017
This previous incident seemingly was never reported last offseason, but as Auman tweeted court records show he was arrested in Miami, just a few weeks after the video of Fowler “refereeing” a fight between his ex-girlfriend and girlfriend at the time.
Those charges were ultimately dropped in December 2016, according to a follow up tweet by Auman, because Fowler completed a pretrial diversion program. However, the fact that this isn’t his first incident could impact his ability to have these new charges handled with a pretrial program.
The Department of Justice defines a pretrial program as the following:
Pretrial diversion (PTD) is an alternative to prosecution which seeks to divert certain offenders from traditional criminal justice processing into a program of supervision and services administered by the U.S. Probation Service. In the majority of cases, offenders are diverted at the pre-charge stage. Participants who successfully complete the program will not be charged or, if charged, will have the charges against them dismissed; unsuccessful participants are returned for prosecution.
The major objectives of pretrial diversion are:
To prevent future criminal activity among certain offenders by diverting them from traditional processing into community supervision and services.
To save prosecutive and judicial resources for concentration on major cases.
To provide, where appropriate, a vehicle for restitution to communities and victims of crime.
The period of supervision is not to exceed 18 months, but may be reduced.
The December charges were ultimately dropped and the case is closed, which is normal when a pretrial diversion program is utilized, however it means that if the misdemeanor goes forward Fowler will actually have to appear in court, as a PTD is a one time type of deal.
We will continue to update the Fowler situation as more information comes out.