Dillon says he's innocent

BY GEOFF HOBSON

Bengals Pro Bowl running back Corey Dillon plans to tell his teammates today he's innocent following a domestic incident this past weekend in his hometown of Seattle.

"I don't want to be portrayed as a wife-beater because it's just something I would never do," Dillon told bengals.com late Monday night. "It was a situation between us that got blown out of proportion because the police got called and they didn't have to be. I'm going to tell the team I'm innocent about this situation. I'm trying to live a righteous life. All this happened over a silly, stupid thing."

The Associated Press reported Monday night that police in Federal Way, Wash., found Dillon with his wife in the driveway of a home during the weekend and that her mouth was bloody. He was booked for investigation of fourth-degree assault after a confrontation that apparently occured in a car.

"My wife was upset and it turned into an argument," Dillon said. "I was not the one throwing the punches. I threw my hands up to protect myself. This was accidental. I never intended to harm her and she knows that. She didn't press charges. I would never do anything like that. I'm not an abuser."

Dillon said the disagreement stemmed over their 20-month-old daugher, Cameron, staying with his mother.

Dillon is headed back to Cincinnati on a red-eye flight this morning and plans to come directly to Paul Brown Stadium, where he has requested a meeting with Bengals President Mike Brown and coach Bruce Coslet to tell his side of the story. He also said he'll speak with his teammates as well as meet the media.

"It's matter that has to be addressed," Dillon said. "I don't want this report getting out there as fact because it's just not what it seems to be."

The Bengals, who have a bye this Sunday, had the weekend off following last Friday night's 21-13 loss to Detroit in the preseason finale in which Dillon had 45 yards on six carries. The club said earlier in the day that Dillon was excused from Monday's practice to tend to personal matters.

The Bengals, who were informed of the arrest late Monday night, had no comment.

Running back Mario Bates, formerly of the Cardinals, and Titans cornerback Denard Walker have each been suspended for a game after similar domestic incidents. But that was only after they went through the court system. Dillon hasn't been charged, according to AP.

Three weeks ago, Dillon, 24, the team's leading rusher in all three of his seasons, signed a one-year deal for $3 million.

Since having several brushes with the law as a juvenile, Dillon has had virtually no problems since joining the Bengals. He insisted he was the victim of police harassment back in 1998 when he was picked up for investigation of a DUI, but agreed to a lesser charge.

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