In Florida robbery case, Seattle’s Quinton Dunbar goes free. New York’s Deandre Baker charged

David Ovalle
·3 min read

The Broward State Attorney’s Office is dropping the armed robbery case against Seattle Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar, but will prosecute New York Giants cornerback Deandre Baker.

Prosecutors made the announcement Friday, nearly three months after Dunbar and Baker, both South Florida natives, were arrested on suspicion they stole jewelry and money from people, at gunpoint, at a house party in Miramar.

Miramar police detectives believe the robbery was retaliation for $70,000 in gambling losses from a party the night before.

“We’re absolutely delighted that the Broward State Attorney’s Office came to the same conclusion we did: that Quinton Dunbar should never have been arrested,” defense lawyer Andrew Rier said. “We wish Mr. Dunbar the best of luck.”

The football players have been free on bond since their arrest in May as Broward prosecutors decided whether to file formal charges.

The Broward State Attorney’s Office said in a press release on Friday that Baker, 22, is being formally charged with four counts of robbery with a firearm. Dunbar, 28, won’t face charge “due to insufficient evidence.”

New York Giants player Deandre Baker (pictured) and Seattle Seahawks player Quinton Dunbar turned themselves into the Broward County Jail after Miramar police sought their arrest on robbery charges. 
New York Giants player Deandre Baker (pictured) and Seattle Seahawks player Quinton Dunbar turned themselves into the Broward County Jail after Miramar police sought their arrest on robbery charges.

Police initially said Dunbar was seen helping Baker, although victims conflicted on whether he was armed. Dunbar’s lawyers had blasted the victims as criminals who were looking to shakedown the football players, demanding $50,000 of they would leak the story to the news website TMZ.

Bradford Cohen, Baker’s lawyer, ripped the arrest as “disgusting.”

“To charge a young man based on admitted liars testimony is why we need a change in Broward from the old guard,” Cohen said on his Instagram page, urging people to vote for a reform-minded State Attorney in the fall election; the county will select its first new top prosecutor in over four decades.

The high-profile case took another twist earlier last month when court and police documents revealed that four victims told police they were paid $55,000 two days after the incident, allegedly at the downtown Miami office of Dunbar’s then-attorney, Michael Grieco. Law enforcement began an investigation into whether the alleged payoffs, orchestrated by a man named Dominic “Coach” Johnson, amount to witness tampering.

According to a Miramar police report obtained by the Miami Herald last month, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement concluded that Grieco’s role could not be proven as a crime, but said although the investigation was still considered ongoing.

The Broward State Attorney’s Office said Friday it was not handling any allegations of witness tampering because the incident was “alleged to have happened in Miami-Dade County, not in Broward County’s jurisdiction.”

The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office could not immediately be reached for comment on Friday afternoon.

The Florida Bar is looking at whether Grieco’s role in the supposed payoffs violated any ethical rules.

Because of the arrests, Dunbar and Baker had been placed on the NFL commissioner’s exempt list, which barred them from practicing or playing games.

Seattle began training camp on July 28, despite concerns over the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Dunbar is in his first year with Seattle. The team acquired him from Washington for a fifth-round pick, and he was expected to contend for a starting spot. In Washington, Dunbar had a breakout year in 2019, intercepting four passes and starting 11 games.