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Wyms settlement could net no record

Published June 18, 2004

TAMPA - Defensive tackle Ellis Wyms, arrested on April 11 after police said he kicked in the door of a limousine he was riding in, will enter a pretrial intervention program, pay for the damage to the vehicle ($1,400) and have no formal record, his attorney said Thursday.

Wyms, 25, was charged with criminal mischief, a third-degree felony, stemming from an altercation on April 11 outside the International House of Pancakes in Carrollwood.

If he completes the program, formal charges will be dropped.

"Ellis has been offered to go into the diversion program, and it's very normal for a case of this nature," Wyms' attorney Kevin Nappier said. "He absolutely has no prior record. He will complete the program, make restitution and the case will be over. He will not have an adjudication. ... He is being treated no differently than anyone else in his situation."

Entering his fourth season, Wyms, who recently signed a six-year, $20-million deal, said he is grateful to put the incident behind him.

"I'm happy that it was over but it never bothered me," Wyms said. "It was a little thing. It's not like I killed anybody or got a DUI. It was totally dumb, but I don't think I overreacted. Maybe I shouldn't have kicked it, but I know a lot of people would probably have done a lot worse. I've moved on."

William Jennings, owner of the limo service, said he was unhappy with the settlement.

"There have to be some consequences," he said. "I think he should be held to a higher standard. It is not right that it would just go away. I'm looking for him to go through the courts and face the charges."

"The state attorney's office did not communicate to my client or me that there was a settlement," said attorney Anthony Ekonomides, who represents the limo service. "Of course he's unhappy and I will do whatever is instructed by my client."

GARNER GAINING GROUND: Running back Charlie Garner, acquired in the offseason to add what coach Jon Gruden called "juice" to the running game, is turning heads on the offense and appears on schedule to hit the ground running by training camp.

"I'm not right where I want to be, but I'm happy that I'm playing and running around stronger than I did all last year," said Garner, who had knee surgery in the offseason. "That's what I'm most pleased about. I'm better than I was last year and I'll be even better come training camp."

BOWLING DAY: To break up the routine of workouts, Gruden took the team for a morning bowling session. ... Deacon Jones wasn't the only well-known visitor at One Buc Place this week. Former Giants quarterback Phil Simms visited on Tuesday and former Gators/Redskins coach Steve Spurrier dropped by Wednesday.

[Last modified June 18, 2004, 01:13:22]

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