Posted by Edmond Geary | Posted in Celebrity crimes, Constitutional rights, Criminal defense, Traffic Accident | Posted on 30-11-2009
News stories report that Tiger Woods had a traffic accident backing out of his home in Florida, an estate in Isleworth, outside Orlando. According to the Florida Highway Patrol accident report, Woods had just pulled out of his driveway when he struck a fire hydrant and then a tree, and Woods said he had cuts, bruising and “right now, I’m a little sore.”
A 911 caller reported an accident in the middle of the night. “I have a neighbor, he hit the tree. And we came out here just to see what was going on. I see him and he’s laying down,” the neighbor reported without naming Tiger Woods. When the caller was asked by the dispatcher if the “victim” was unconscious, the neighbor stated, “Yes.” The 911 call goes on with the voice of a woman shouting, “What happened?” “We’re just trying to get the police here right now, “ the caller says to the woman. “We don’t know what happened. We’re figuring that out right now. I’m on the phone with the police right now.”
The Florida Highway Patrol has been asking to interview Woods about the accident. Woods has just published a statement on his website. “The situation is my fault, and it’s obviously embarrassing to my family and me. I’m human and I’m not perfect. I will certainly make sure this doesn’t happen.”
Woods’ statement went on: “Although I understand there is curiosity, the manly false, unfounded and malicious rumors that are currently circulating about my family and me are irresponsible. The only person responsible for the acccident is me. My wife, Elin, acted courageously when she saw I was hurt and in trouble she was the first person to help me. Any other assertion is absolutely false.” This was published about an hour after Woods’ attorney told the Highway Patrol that for the third straight day Woods would be unavailable to talk to troopers. Woods said this was a private matter, and he intended to keep it that way.
The Highway Patrol went to Woods’ estate nevertheless. They were met there by Woods’ attorney, who gave then Woods’ driver’s license, registration and insurance as required for such accidents. The Highway Patrol still does not know where Woods was headed at that time of night, how he lost control of his SUV at such a speed that the air bags did not deploy, and why both rear windows of this Cadillac Escalade were smashed out. Perhaps the biggest question is if was just a careless mistake, why not speak to state troopers to complete their investigation?
A spokesman for the highway patrol was towed away from the gated community in which Woods lives “for safekeeping.” Why would the police take Woods’ vehicle from its resting place, which was apparently feet from Woods’ garage?
Besides not wanting to make public what Woods said is a “private matter,” Woods has another reason not to speak to the police about his matter. Every criminal defense lawyer knows why Woods was well advised to have his lawyer speak for him when the police arrived at his home for a “friendly chat.” Anything Woods says can and will be used against him in a court of law. So why should he help the police make a criminal case against him?
Such a case does not have to appear likely. Certainly, no criminal case appears likely from the sparse facts known. But who knows how creative the police may become? Such things have happened before, and that is why Woods’ attorney, informed any interview was optional, exercised the option that excluded any interview. Why take any other option, why give up one’s Fifth Amendment Rights, just so as to appear one is “not guilty?”
Rumors are circulating that Tiger Woods is seeing some cocktail waitress in New York, and that may be related somehow to this accident. The waitress is now represented by a Hollywood attorney. Regardless, if a police interview took place, whatever would be said, would be front page news in 12 hours. That is another reason Tiger Woods could understandably not want to talk to the police about this accident. But the first reason is the reason that applies to every citizen who has available Constitutional Rights.