NEWS

Randy Moss denies battery of woman after injunction issued

Glen Farley

All season long, wide receiver Randy Moss has been a major component in the New England Patriots’ offense.

On Wednesday, he mounted a defense.

“Battery? I didn’t hit (a) woman. I’ve never laid my hands on a woman,” Moss said. “So for you to say battery … I think if there was such a thing in the court system as an accident, then that’s what I’m guilty (of). But for you to say (I) physically, in an angry manner or whatever the manner may be, put my hands on a woman physically, I have never done that.”

Moss, who generally does not speak to reporters during the week, made it a point to address them at two separate junctures during the day’s open locker room period as he responded to a temporary injunction issued against him by a Broward County (Fla.) court ordering him to stay at least 500 feet away from Fort Lauderdale resident Rachelle Washington, her home and her car.

The 35-year-old woman filed a petition for a restraining order against Moss on Monday.

According to the Boston Herald, in court papers Washington claims that Moss committed “a battery upon (her) causing serious injury” and “refused to allow (her) to seek medical treatment” in an incident that took place at her home on Jan. 6.

After concluding the regular season with a record at 16-0, the Patriots were in the midst of their postseason bye week on Jan. 6.

A hearing to see if a permanent restraining order will be issued has been scheduled at the Fort Lauderdale courthouse at 3 p.m. on Jan. 28, the Monday before Super Bowl XLII in Glendale, Ariz.

No criminal charges were filed against Moss in the case, however.

Washington claims that she and Moss have been in an “intimate relationship since 1997.” According to the Herald, Washington also claims in the papers that Moss has guns and “a drug or alcohol problem.”

Calling it a “situation of extortion,” Moss said his friendship with Washington is over.

“Yes, the friendship’s over, but I’m not mad, I’m not bitter,” said Moss. “I am mad at the situation of extortion. Yes, I’m mad about that. For an accident to occur, I mean, it happens. Stuff does happen.”

Moss claimed that Washington was seeking a financial settlement from him.

“Over an accident, six figures,” he said.

“I’ve known this woman 11 years. I don’t wish anything bad on this woman. That’s the love I have for her as a friend. Even though these allegations are false or whatever she’s claiming, I really can’t be mad at that because if that’s what she’s doing, that’s what she’s doing. If she’s hurt and she needs money, that’s on her.”

Acquired from Oakland for a fourth-round pick in the 2007 draft, Moss arrived in New England with a checkered past both on and off the field.

One of the more notable incidents involving Moss occurred in 2002 while he was a member of the Minnesota Vikings. In that case, Moss was charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon and misdemeanor marijuana possession after pushing a Minneapolis traffic control agent with his car. Moss was subsequently fined $1,200 and required to perform 40 hours of community service. As part of a plea agreement, the marijuana charge against Moss was dropped.

In 2005, Moss caused a stir when, during an appearance on HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,” he said he “might” partake in the use of marijuana once “every blue moon.”

In 2000, he was fined $25,000 for squirting water on an official during a game. In 2001, he was fined $40,000 for making contact with an official during a game.

In his first season with the Patriots, Moss seemed to put all his problems in the past, hauling in 98 passes for a franchise-record 1,493 yards, with a league-record 23 touchdown receptions among them.

“This is something negative or a black cloud hanging over my head and that’s something that I did not want coming into the season -- anything negative,” Moss said. “Everything I’ve tried to do from getting here early and making sure I eat the right food all the way to practicing and playing here, I wanted all that to be an A-plus.”

Moss said the situation was “hard because of everything I’ve been through, mostly the negative off the field.

“I think the best thing is you can check my resume,” Moss said. “Ask around. I’ve never hit a woman. I do not hit women. That’s not what I’m supposed to be doing. I’ve got a job to do and that’s to provide for my family and help raise my children. That’s what I do.”

Moss said he does accept blame for putting himself in a position to face such charges.

“I’m very disappointed in the timing,” he said. “I’m disappointed at the timing, first (disappointed in) myself for being able to be in this situation, but knowing someone 11 years it’s hard to avoid that because I wouldn’t expect someone like that to do that.”

Moss said he informed Patriots head coach Bill Belichick of the situation last Friday, on the eve of his team’s 31-20 AFC divisional playoff win over Jacksonville at Gillette. The Jaguars limited to Moss to one catch for 14 yards in that game.

“The only reason I went to Coach,” said Moss, “(was) because I knew the magnitude of something like this, how it was going to take off.”

Now, Moss said, he is focusing on this Sunday’s AFC Championship Game with San Diego at Gillette when a Super Bowl berth will be on the line.

“Whenever the season’s over, I plan on sitting down and getting to the bottom of this,” said Moss. “Right now, I’ve got a job to do.”