Former Bills offensive lineman Richie Incognito, who experienced a career renaissance with Buffalo as ringleader of the Bullygate saga involving Jonathan Martin, is back in the news this week at a Lifetime Fitness gym in South Florida. We now have police reports and 9-1-1 calls from the incident, both obtained by CBSSports.com, and they paint a picture of a man with serious mental health issues.
The call to 9-1-1 came from another man at the facility (who we will leave unidentified for what should be obvious reasons) who said that he was working out in an outdoor portion of the gym when Incognito began harassing him.
"The gentleman threw a ... chucked a tennis ball at me for no reason. Then he started throwing s--- at me," the man said. "Then he tried to mow me over with a sled. And he just started yelling at me like he was going to kick my ass. And he started beating the s--- out of the equipment over there."
On the call, you can hear Incognito yelling at the man, who finally decides he is "walking away." The 9-1-1 operator is remarkably calm, but she does work emergency services in South Florida.
According to the police report, the man claims Incognito told him to "get out of my f---ing playground" and nearly hit his leg with a weight sled.
It only gets stranger. According to the report, Incognito told two police officers that he was training and upset because the man in question was essentially trying to steal his classified National Security Agency documents.
"There's a guy walking around with headphones on," Incognito told the officers, according to the police report. "I'm running NSA class level 3 documents through my phone. I can't have anybody in bluetooth capability of me or taking pictures of me."
Incognito then told the officers he was unable to disclose further information about his phone and the government because he was under contract. (Perhaps related:by the Bills recently after he requested the team give him his freedom.) Incognito told police officers they did not have "high enough clearance" to find out.
According to the officers who responded, Incognito's "speech pattern was very erratic" and "would suddenly change subject matter to something different." Incognito told officers he had taken a workout supplement known as "Shroom Tech." (This supplement actually exists.)
The police report states that "investigations revealed that Incognito was suffering an altered, paranoid state and believed ordinary citizens were government officials that were tracking him and recording him."
The officers then instituted the Baker Act, which allowed them to take Incognito into custody under the premise that he would cause harm to himself or others if left to his own devices. The officer states he used multiple pairs of handcuffs linked together in order to secure Incognito and take him into custody.
Even for the state of Florida this is a pretty wild story. A former NFL player, who has gone off the reservation before, took some kind of supplement that caused him to believe everyone around him was a government official tracking him down and recording his every move.
Suddenly all of Incognito's actions this offseason --, talking about kidney failure, , firing his agents on Twitter and again -- have to be looked at through a completely different prism. He is clearly not of sound mind right now. Hopefully some kind of detox and psychiatric evaluation will enable him to find a more normal frame of mind.
Bills coach Sean McDermott was asked about the incident Thursday and quickly declined to expand on it.
"Yeah, you know, I care about all of our players and I'm concerned about all of our players," McDermott said. "As far as Richie's situation specifically, I'm not going to get into any specifics at this point."
He also added the Bills wish Incognito well moving forward and "certainly appreciate all he did for this organization."