Buffalo Bills defensive lineman Marcell Dareus is suspected of crashing a white Jaguar into a tree by the Mongolian Buffet Restaurant near the McKinley Mall while he was allegedly drag racing in the middle of the afternoon last Friday, Hamburg Town Police said today in the most detailed statement yet on the incident.
Dareus, 24, of Hoover, Alabama, was arrested and charged with reckless endangerment in the second degree, a class A misdemeanor; reckless driving and participating in an illegal speed contest, both unclassified misdemeanors; and traffic violations. He appeared in Town Court with an attorney for arraignment Monday and was released on his own recognizance, according to police.
Dareus already was facing felony charges in Alabama and a possible NFL suspension for possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. He was found with synthetic marijuana after being stopped for speeding.
Investigators also revealed today they are still searching for the driver of a second vehicle believed to be a black Camaro that was involved in the drag racing.
Two sets of skidmarks can still be seen today at the site of an accident. The skidmarks appear to start at Milestrip Road (Route 179) and go into Mongolian Buffet Restaurant parking lot at 3513 McKinley Parkway. The marks go over a grassy area between the lot and the roadway.
A tree about 10 yards from the entrance of the restaurant appeared damaged.
Dareus has not shown up at the Bills’ organized team activities this morning at the Ralph Wilson Stadium fieldhouse. Players are not technically required to show up for these unofficial practices.
Four days after the arrest, Hamburg Police gave the most detailed account of the investigation so far.
According to the statement, police “received a complaint of two vehicles, a black Camaro or Mustang, and a light colored vehicle, traveling westbound on Route 179 near McKinley Parkway, possibly racing” at 3:16 p.m. Friday.”
As patrol officers headed to the area, another call came in to police, this time reporting that a “white vehicle” had crashed near the Mongolian Buffet Restaurant.
The statement said Officer Robert Paas arrived at the restaurant “and found that a white 2012 Jaguar left the roadway on Route 179, east of the entrance to the Mongolian Buffet, and had struck a tree in front of the restaurant.”
Witnesses at the scene told investigators that they saw two vehicles – a black Camaro and a white Jaguar – traveling westbound on Route 179 near the north entrance of the McKinley Mall at a high rate of speed, police said.
The witnesses said the Jaguar left the roadway near the entrance of the Mongolian Buffet, continued westbound over the grass and onto the parking lot of the restaurant before striking a tree on the northeast front portion of the restaurant property, the police statement said. The incident caused “extensive damage to the Jaguar and damage to the tree.”
Police identified Dareus as the driver of the Jaguar.
Dareus was taken back to the Town of Hamburg Police Department. He was processed, fingerprinted and released on an appearance ticket and traffic summonses.
Dareus is due back in court at 10 a.m. June 17th.
The investigation is ongoing to determine the identity of the driver of the black Camaro. Police said they would not release official reports until the investigation is completed.
Dareus last Wednesday spoke with reporters for the first time since his Alabama arrest.
“They believe in me,” Dareus said. “They know that I’m not a trouble guy. I’m not trying to do anything. Things happen, and we’re moving forward, and they know I’m going to grow into the guy they want me to be.”
The Bills benched Dareus at the end of last season for showing up late to team meetings.
A Bills spokesman said the team was aware of the arrest and that coach Doug Marrone will address it with the media after today’s practice.
News Sports Reporters Mark Gaughan and Tim Graham contributed to this report.