It’s worth noting that Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn, a starter in 2008, committed this crime back in January, but after a couple of months of investigation, police determined that the defensive end’s brutal attack on a cab driver at 2 a.m. was worthy of criminal prosecution. As such, he’s now facing charges of assault and, to his credit, he turned himself in … then pleaded not guilty despite a heck of a lot of evidence (eyewitnesses maybe) stacked against him.
(It’s a lot scarier when you realize that he has a history of punching people in the face at close range.)
The story, which we found over at BLACK HEART GOLD PANTS, with a later plea update from ESPN.com, goes something like this: Clayborn was driving home from some Iowa City hotspot (oxymoron? It might be) on Jan. 20 - or 18th, if you take ESPN’s word for it (we’re sticking with BLACK HEART) - when he got caught in a nasty traffic jam. After reaching an outright boiling point, Clayborn attacked a cab driver by punching him through the open driver’s side window, causing facial injuries and utter shock at the fact that he punched a cabbie through a window.
Of course, Clayborn is now claiming he’s guilty of little more than a typical “youthful indiscretion.” That might be believable, except for one salient detail that Bucketochicken over at BLACK HEART points out: Clayborn hails from St. Louis. Yes, that St. Louis, the one with significantly more violence and a ton more traffic than Iowa City. That certainly seems to invalidate the idea that he just doesn’t know how to handle road rage, doesn’t it?
Now, because of this tidy little cabbie-punching incident, Iowa may be down one very big part of the Hawkeyes’ defensive line next fall. There’s no word on how the team would respond to a Clayborn conviction, but this quote from Kirk Ferentz seems a bit ominous:
“I’ve been aware of this alleged incident since January and consider it to be a serious situation,” Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz said in a statement. “Based on what I know to this point, I think it is best to let due process run its course before coming to any judgment.”
Yes, it’s early, but it’s never to early to start thinking about what you’re going to do with a guy who was seen punching a cab driver in the face by multiple public witnesses, eh, Kurt? Someone better get backups Dezman Moses and Riley Reiff ready to roll for September.