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Ahmad Bradshaw to return to jail

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Ahmad Bradshaw to return to jail

Post  56 Crazed Dogs on Thu Jul 31, 2008 5:23 pm

By Michael Owens
Reporter / Bristol Herald Courier
Published: July 31, 2008

Extra meals and recreation time, autographs and the first of a two-part jail sentence sandwiched around the upcoming NFL season marked the recent Abingdon, Va., incarceration of New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw, jail sources say.

Those perks were aimed at keeping the 22-year-old Bluefield, Va., native safe inside the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail, where he was serving a 30-day sentence for violating his probation from an undisclosed juvenile conviction years ago.

The star treatment, which kept Bradshaw in shape for preseason training camp, angered both jailers and inmates alike, said two sources familiar with the situation.

One source is a corrections officer who requested anonymity over fears of professional and physical retaliation; the officer observed the special considerations in action and saw them noted in the jail computer. The other source is an inmate serving time for a white-collar misdemeanor. The inmate requested anonymity over fears of retaliation by jailers or a lengthened jail sentence. The two sources spoke independently of one another.

After leaving high school, Bradshaw had two brushes with the law – including an alcohol offense and running from police in an incident that got him kicked off the University of Virginia football team in 2004. Two years later, while at Marshall University, Bradshaw stole a PlayStation from a dorm room. That incident caused Bradshaw’s stock to plummet among NFL scouts; he was taken in the seventh round of the 2007 draft by the Giants and was the team’s leading rusher in its Super Bowl win six months ago against the New England Patriots.

Bradshaw left the Abingdon jail on July 13 after 28 days. The corrections officer source said Bradshaw is supposed to return after football season to serve a second 30-day sentence for the probation violation.

Steve Clear, the jail’s deputy superintendent, said Wednesday that he had not seen the court order specifying Bradshaw’s sentence and that it had been sealed after, not before, Bradshaw was incarcerated.

Court officials in Tazewell County, where Bradshaw was a hometown hero and recently had his uniform retired at Graham High School, have refused to release any information about Bradshaw’s juvenile arrest or how he violated his probation as an adult.

The Bristol Herald Courier is suing Tazewell County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court Judge Henry A. Barringer and Clerk Connie Cheryl Roberts, alleging they are violating Virginia’s juvenile court statutes by sealing Bradshaw’s records. (See related story.)

Details of Bradshaw’s preferential treatment surfaced during his first week in jail but were denied by jail officials. Asked by the Herald Courier on June 24 whether Bradshaw received such special considerations, Clear replied: “Of course not.”

Stardom earned the Super Bowl standout a spot in a maximum-security wing to keep him segregated from the rest of the inmates, both jail sources said.

“One guard did tell me, ‘He’s a football player. We’re going to keep everyone from him,’ ” the inmate said.

Clear confirmed Wednesday that Bradshaw was kept isolated at the jail to protect him. “There was never any orders [from a judge]. It was our choice,” he said.

Jailers openly bragged among themselves that footballs had been sent into jail to be autographed, said the corrections officer. The claim could not be verified independently.

Asked if guards and outsiders were getting Bradshaw’s autograph, Clear said: “They shouldn’t have been. I wasn’t there the whole time, so they could have. They were all told at the beginning not to.”

Much of the grumbling over Bradshaw’s preferential treatment focused on the extra meals and daily workouts – four hours a day of recreation time instead of the customary one hour afforded other inmates.

Clear, the jail deputy superintendent, said he did not know how much daily recreation time was afforded Bradshaw.

“They [inmates] were fussing about him getting special treatment and stuff,” the corrections officer said.

Extra meals usually go only to pregnant and malnourished inmates, per a doctor’s order, the officer said. Yet Bradshaw received two trays of food at every meal, the officer said.

Said the inmate: “A lot of people in here complain about the food – it doesn’t have enough portions – and this guy comes in and he’s getting two” trays. “It was so he could stay in shape for his football season.”

Clear said he had heard nothing about Bradshaw getting any extra food. “He actually turned down meals,” the deputy superintendent said.

Bradshaw played at 198 pounds during his rookie season. He reported to training camp Friday – 12 days after his jail release – at 203 pounds – or “right on target,” said Pat Hanlon, New York Giants vice president of communications.
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