A judge ordered free-agent cornerback Richard Sherman be released from jail without bail Thursday following his arrest on suspicion of trying to break into his in-laws’ home northeast of Seattle.
King County District Court Judge Fa’amomoi Masaniai found probable cause that Sherman committed four offenses: misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor charges of criminal trespass in the second degree, malicious mischief in the third degree — both carrying domestic violence designations — and misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest and driving under the influence.
Prosecutors did not ask the judge for a finding on a felony residential burglary allegation for which he was initially booked. They have not yet filed charges, but a charging decision is expected as soon as Friday, according to a spokesperson with the King County prosecuting attorney’s office.
Masaniai declined to set $10,000 bail as prosecutors requested. The judge called Sherman, who did not attend the hearing, a “pillar of the community” and noted that it was presumed he would be released because this was his first arrest. He ordered that Sherman, 33, not have contact with his father-in-law, that he not use alcohol or nonprescription drugs and that he not possess a weapon.
Sherman’s next hearing is set for 2 p.m. PT on Friday. He does not have to be present for the hearing and can be represented by his attorney.
“I love and support my husband,” Sherman’s wife, Ashley Sherman, said in a statement after the hearing. “I am committed to helping Richard get the support and care that he needs. Richard has always been a loving father and husband. And we are looking forward to seeing him at home with his family.”
At Thursday’s hearing, Sherman’s attorney, Cooper Offenbecher, did not contest that probable cause existed for the arrest. But he said Sherman should be released without bail, noting his good work in the community, including founding the Blanket Coverage Foundation, a charity that provides low-income students with school supplies and clothes.
“Richard Sherman is among the best in our community,” Offenbecher said. “He is a good person and a good soul. He is taking these allegations very seriously.”
Sherman was belligerent, had been drinking heavily and had spoken of killing himself when he left his home in the Seattle suburb of Maple Valley late Tuesday, according to police reports. His wife called 911 to try to have police stop him.
He was arrested early Wednesday after police said he crashed his car in a construction zone along a busy highway east of Seattle and then tried to break into his in-laws’ home in the suburb of Redmond.
His father-in-law, Raymond Moss, told officers that he armed himself with a handgun and fired pepper spray at the NFL cornerback to protect his family as Sherman tried to bust in the door with his shoulder.
“The family began to yell in fear,” Moss told police. “I used pepper spray on Sherman’s face through the partially opened door as he was still banging and attempting to gain entry. I told him to stop. I armed myself with my handgun at this time fearing for the safety of myself and my family.”
Officers were cautious about arresting Sherman because of his size, strength and belligerence, according to police reports released Thursday. Sherman displayed “severe mood swings and slurred speech, had bloodshot, watery eyes, and had the odor of intoxicants emitting from his person” during contact with authorities at his in-laws’ residence, according to the reports. Sherman told authorities there that he was upset over his children being taken from him, the reports said.
When told that he was being placed under arrest and directed to kneel down so that he could be handcuffed, the police reports said, “Sherman ignored these commands and became more hostile and belligerent and stated multiple times that he would not be arrested or go into handcuffs.”
Officers could not use a Taser because they worried about igniting whatever chemical Sherman’s father-in-law had sprayed him with and could not fire a bean-bag round because they were too close to him, according to the police reports. Instead, they released a police dog, which bit his ankle and caused a minor cut, as other officers wrestled with him on the ground, the reports said.
Sherman’s mood seemed to lighten once he was in custody and he even joked about the form the trooper had used to take him to the ground, according to the police reports. Sherman was “polite and cooperative” at the hospital where he was taken to be treated for the K9 bite he suffered during the altercation with authorities, the reports said.
In February, King County prosecutors and the sheriff obtained an “extreme risk protection order” for Sherman, which barred him from having guns after a judge determined he posed a danger to himself or others. Details of the case were sealed, and it was not immediately clear if any weapons had been seized from him.
Ashley Sherman told police her husband had been on antidepressants and was receiving mental health counseling.
ESPN’s Brady Henderson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.