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Of crime & punishment

Belfour, Niedermayer face the music

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Posted: Wednesday March 22, 2000 11:11 PM

  Ed Belfour Ed Belfour was arrested on charges of misdemeanor assault on a hotel security guard and resisting arrest. AP

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- No amount of money, it seemed, could keep Dallas Stars goaltender Ed Belfour out of jail.

The goalie first offered Dallas police officers $100,000, then $1 billion, if they would not jail him on charges in connection with a scuffle earlier this month at a fashionable hotel, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

An arrest warrant affidavit obtained by the newspaper in Tuesday's editions describes the fan favorite, who helped the Stars win the Stanley Cup, as intoxicated and combative, spitting in one officer's face following his arrest.

Police had to spray Belfour with Mace, but the 34-year-old player continued to resist them, kicking two officers in the chest as they tried to restrain him, according to the report.

It stated that Belfour later in the police cruiser ride began "begging" officers not to take him to jail by offering them $100,000, then progressively higher amounts until reaching $1 billion.

Belfour was scheduled to appear March 29 before Dallas County Criminal Court Judge Phil Barker on charges of misdemeanor assault on a hotel security guard and resisting arrest.

After missing five games following his arrest, the goalie returned to the nets Saturday in Chicago. Belfour preserved a 2-2 tie with the Blackhawks on Saturday, then won his 29th game of the season on Sunday. His record is among the National Hockey League's best at 28-18-5.

Belfour has been apologetic to fans and his team since returning to play. But the arrest documents paint a different picture of the player following his appearance at The Mansion on Turtle Creek.

The goalie, who had arrived with a woman who later left the Dallas hotel, placed a 50-year-old employee in a headlock and kicked at officers, prompting them to spray him with Mace, police reports said.

Following his arrest, he continued to be uncooperative - placing his cowboy boots on the squad car's radio console despite police orders to sit up and place his feet on the floor, according to the affidavit. It stated Belfour then vomited across his chest.

The document stated that Belfour began to kick wildly when police tried to remove his feet from the console. After spitting at one officer, Belfour struggled as others tried to restrain him and then jerked backward, hyperextending one of the officer's thumbs.

At jail, Belfour needed help to stand "due to his intoxication" while he was being searched and "became combative" when officers tried to escort him to see a nurse, the report stated. The player spent six hours in police custody before being released on bond.

A Belfour spokesman, David Margulies, released a previous statement in which the player apologized for the March 8 events and declined further comment on his lawyers' advice.


 
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