ATLANTA — Embattled Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux was smoking marijuana as he and a friend were driving through the northeast Atlanta suburbs, according to a police report.
The Gwinnett County police report, released Tuesday, says Babineaux told a police officer he had not smoked marijuana in more than a year, but then he admitted smoking from a marijuana blunt at least once during the drive on a busy interstate highway.
Babineaux started Sunday in Atlanta's loss to the New Orleans Saints. Falcons coach Mike Smith said Monday the team followed NFL rules in letting him play, and said league rules allow NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to decide whether Babineaux will enter the league's intervention program and face a four-game suspension because of the arrest.
"I don't have any comment and I can't talk to you right now," Babineaux said Tuesday when reached by The Associated Press.
Babineaux's attorney did not immediately return a call seeking comment. Falcons spokesman Reggie Roberts said Tuesday the team would have no further comment on the arrest. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league will wait for the case to move through the legal process to decide Babineaux's fate.
"We're not going to prematurely judge anything," he said.
Babineaux had said in a statement last week that he hoped fans would "have faith that you will see I'm not guilty."
Babineaux and a friend, Aaron Robinson, were arrested in Babineaux's 2005 Cadillac Escalade Thursday night after a routine traffic stop because the tag lights were out and the windows were tinted darker than the law allowed.
Officer R.L. Bell reported that the 28-year-old Babineaux told him he played for the Falcons. The officer also noted the car smelled of marijuana. Babineaux told Bell he had he loaned the vehicle to some friends who had smoked the drug in it a few nights earlier, and also said that Robinson had a medical marijuana license.
Bell noted the fifth-year Falcon player looked "scared and nervous."
A drug-sniffing dog was used to check the car, and it found a plastic baggie filled with marijuana and a few blunts in a backpack at the center of the back seat. Police said they found about 1 1/2 ounces of the drug altogether. The officer later found a spray used to cover up the drug's odor in the driver's door pocket.
Babineaux then told police he had picked up Robinson at the airport, and Robinson had asked him to drive to a nearby town house where he could buy drugs, according to the report. Babineaux again told Bell he did not smoke the drug, adding that he had not done so in at least a year.
Robinson, though, told Bell in a separate interview that Babineaux had smoked "from the marijuana blunt at least two to three times." At that point, Bell said he went back to Babineaux, who then admitted smoking from the marijuana blunt once.
"I asked him why he did not tell me (the) truth and he said he did not want to admit to smoking marijuana," Bell said in the report.
Smith said Monday the team was "extremely disappointed" with the incident.