NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Giants offensive lineman David Diehl vowed to take “full responsibility” after he was arraigned Monday on two counts of driving under the influence of alcohol.
The 6-foot-5, 300-pound athlete of Croatian descent had been in an Astoria bar Sunday night, celebrating Croatia’s 3-1 win over Ireland in the teams’ opening group play match of the European Soccer Championships.
Around 8:20 p.m., police said Diehl drove off alone in a BMW and smashed into several parked cars a few blocks away at Broadway and 31st Street.
Diehl apologized for the incident in a series of tweets.
“I’ve worked hard during my career to set a positive example, and yesterday I fell far short of this standard,” he wrote. “I apologize to my family, my fans, my teammates, the New York Giants, and the NFL. … I made a poor decision that I sincerely regret, and, as always, take full responsibility for my actions.”
The two-time Super Bowl champion faced reporters at Giants minicamp on Tuesday and vowed accountability.
“I’m accountable. I take full responsibility,” Diehl said. “This is the last thing I want anyone to do is judge me on one incident in my life. If anyone understands the magnitude of this situation, it’s me. I never make an excuse for anything. I never have.”
“This one decision does not reflect who I am as a person,” he added.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement that Diehl “was observed by the officer to have a strong odor of alcohol on his breath, bloodshot and watery eyes, slurred speech and to be unsteady on his feet.”
“I am going to show the people who are behind me that I am not going to make mistakes,” said Diehl. “I’ve worked extremely hard for people to see me as a positive role model. I will make sure everyone will see the kind of character person I am.”
A Breathalyzer test allegedly showed that Diehl had a blood alcohol content reading of .182 percent, more than twice the legal limit of .08, prosecutors said.
Giants coach Tom Coughlin said Tuesday that Diehl was “very remorseful” and will “learn from his error.”
“He’s a very proud young man, as you know,” said Coughlin. “He’s very sorry for what happened. He’s been an exemplary citizen for this organization, I think he understands it completely. He recognizes and he’s going to be a very, very good spokesperson for trying to help young people understand his mistake could be avoided in whatever way possible. David will take care of that part of it.”
The 31-year-old received plenty of support from his teammates, including punter Steve Weatherford, who voiced “full support” for Diehl via Twitter.
“He’ll hold his head high and answer any questions you have,” linemate Chris Snee said Tuesday. “That’s just the type of guy he is.”
Diehl is due back in court on July 26, the first day of training camp in Albany.
If convicted, he faces up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Diehl could be facing a fine or suspension from the NFL under the league’s substance abuse and personal conduct policy.
“Obviously concerned about my friend,” Giants quarterback Eli Manning said from a charity golf outing Monday, according to the Bergen Record. “I feel bad for him that he’s going through this. I wish nothing had happened, but besides that, I’m just hoping everything gets worked out and that he’ll be OK.”
Should the Giants suspend Diehl if the NFL doesn’t take action? Sound off in the comments below…