- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 25, 2001

So Baltimore Ravens coach Brian Billick wants the media to stop concentrating on the Atlanta double murder that Ray Lewis was involved in the last time they had a Super Bowl.

He believes that to continue to write and report about Lewis' involvement in the murder of Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar in a fight outside an Atlanta nightclub Lewis eventually pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice after initially being charged with murder and testified against his two friends accused in the case is now off limits. Billick equates it to "ambulance chasing" and accused the media of being "preoccupied" with it.

Fine. No more writing about the Atlanta murders here. There's plenty of other colorful Ray Lewis experiences to write about. In fact, it's like picking off a menu.

For instance, let's write about the two women in Baltimore who claimed in an $8 million lawsuit filed last month that Lewis knocked them down and stepped on them in a Baltimore County bar called the Windsor Mill Road, a Ravens hangout, in November 1999. They claim a friend of Lewis Ray hangs out with the greatest guys pushed them to get out of the way to leave the crowded bar.

When the women said they couldn't move, they claim Lewis and his friend hit them, knocked them to the floor and kicked them while cursing them. The women said they followed Lewis and his friend outside, where they told the police, who had been called and were in the parking lot, that Lewis had assaulted them.

Lewis and his friend left the parking lot in a limousine the Assaultmobile, you might call it that two months later made its way to Atlanta and Lewis leaned out the window, waving a champagne bottle (a Lewis posse weapon of choice, one that reportedly was used in the Atlanta brawl) and cursed the women out, they charged.

Now this case had first been brought as criminal charges in December 1999. But the Baltimore County State's Attorney's office dropped the charges in March due to too many "discrepancies" from witnesses.

You see, this is the other side of fame. A star athlete gets into trouble in a bar that is a Ravens hangout good for business and a great place for fans to hang out and you get "discrepancies." Lewis has claimed he was a victim in the Atlanta prosecution because he is Ray Lewis. We never hear about the dozens of times star athletes are protected from the consequences of their behavior because of their names. You can be sure it far outweighs the times that the privileged class are persecuted.

Ray Lewis believes he was persecuted, in biblical proportions, no less. "Jesus was spit on and lashed at and he hung his head and never said a mumbling word, so what do I have to say about people who still think that I murdered two people?" Lewis said in an interview in ESPN the Magazine.

Lewis wasn't exactly being spit on and lashed at in a sexually explicit mail order video he starred in from a 1999 party in Cancun thrown by rap musician Luther Campbell. In the video, Lewis and Joseph Sweeting, one of the men who stood trial and eventually was acquitted in the Atlanta murders, are drinking and dancing shirtless between two scantily dressed and gyrating women. With Lewis as a spectator, party guests perform sex acts on one another for money.

This from a man who was portrayed as a decent family man by his lawyers when he was trying to get out of jail on bond in February.

Then there is Lewis' career at the University of Miami, the minimum security prison they operate in Coral Gables, Fla. Two former girlfriends accused him of physical abuse. They were pregnant at the time. No charges were ever filed.

So don't worry, Brian. There won't be any more ambulance chasing here, at least not surrounding the Atlanta murders. But I have a feeling that sooner or later, when it comes to Ray Lewis, there will be another ambulance to chase.

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