Browns defensive lineman Desmond Bryant faces lawsuit in criminal mischief case

It's been a pretty volatile offseason for former Oakland Raiders and current Cleveland Browns defensive lineman Desmond Bryant. Free agency brought him a five-year, $34 million contract with $15 million guaranteed, but he may have to spend some of that new cash in a way he'd rather not. Shutdown Corner has seen a lawsuit filed on Monday in Dade County, Fla. Circuit Court by Isaac and Iris Bakar and their three children, the people Bryant was arrested for harassing on Feb. 24.

Bryant is being sued on one count of assault, one count of intentional infliction of emotional distress, and one count of trespassing.

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According to the suit filed by attorney Robert J. Fiore, P.A., the Bakar family seeks damages in excess of $15,000, exclusive of interests, costs, and attorney's fees. The suit claims that at approximately 5:30 a.m. on Feb. 24, Bryant "unlawfully trespassed onto the family property, and without provocation, legal justification, or a shirt, began hitting and pounding on the doors loudly and repeatedly. This wakened the plaintiffs, causing all to be terrified and in great fear for their safety."

It's then claimed that Mr. Bakar ran to the front doors and saw Bryant leaning on the family car just outside the home. Bryant than ran back to the front doors, pounded the doors again, and attempted to "forcibly pull the doors open in an out-of-control violent rage."

At that point, the Bakars called 911. More from the suit:

Thereafter, using his best efforts to keep the doors closed and deny the Defendant entry into the family home, Plaintiff Isaac Bakar, who stands 5 feet, 10 1/2 inches tall and weighs 170 pounds, frantically grabbed the inside door handle and held on, yelling words through the door, among others, for the Defendant to "go away" and "leave my family alone." Further, at one point, the Plaintiff yelled to the Defendant, 'what do you want, and why are you doing this to us?" The Defendant neither responded nor made his intentions known, but instead continued his relentless, violent assault on the Plaintiffs, causing Issac, Iris, and their three small children to be paralyzed with fear.

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There may be a bit of hyperbole in these passages, but if this is all true, we may be dealing with more than simple criminal mischief here. Bryant broke the front handle off the door, per the lawsuit (it's Exhibit A), and police allegedly witnessed Bryant "screaming and yelling banging on the front door" "trying to make entry." The suit claims that the police on scene ascertained that Bryant had been drinking at a South Beach club, and that Bryant was "extremely intoxicated" with "red bloodshot watery eyes, slurred speech, and the strong smell of an alcoholic beverage emitting from" him. (The Arrest Affidavit is Exhibit B). Per the police report, Bryant took a cab to the Bakar's home, and may have been trying to go to his own residence instead.

Exhibit C is Bryant's mug shot, which pretty much speaks for itself.

The suit concluded that Bryant engaged in conduct that was "so reckless or wanting in care that it constituted a conscious disregard to the life, safety, or rights of Plaintiffs and otherwise forms a legal basis for claims for punitive damages pursuant to Florida Statutes 768.62."

The suit also claimed the rights to further punitive damages pursuant to Florida Statute 768.62.

“I obviously made a mistake,” Bryant said at the Cleveland press conference announcing his signing. “I apologize for everything that happened, but I feel like I've learned from it and moved on. I think I've done enough over the years I've been in the league to exhibit that's really not the kind of person I am. I think in time I'll be able to show you guys and whoever else wants to know that's really not indicative of me. It was an accident. I've moved beyond that and hopefully everybody else will be able to.”

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It doesn't seem that everyone else will. And if the charges are true, there's no reason the Bakar family should.

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