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Bipolar News

January 23, 2005

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Once a Pro Bowl center, Robbins fights for life in a Miami ...
San Jose Mercury News (subscription) - San Jose,CA,USA
... destruction.". Robbins, 31, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and alcoholism soon after the Super Bowl debacle made him a household name. ...

POLICE: ROBBINS TRIED TO KILL THREE COPS

The Palm Beach Post; 1/20/2005; CARLOS FRIAS, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

His last words before the gunshots, the best anyone can recall, were expletives to the police officer who pulled the trigger.

Moments later, Barrett Robbins was slipping into unconsciousness with two bullets in his chest.

On the ground around Robbins lay three Miami Beach police officers, two of them knocked out by the 6-foot-3, 380-pound former Oakland Raiders offensive lineman.

"It could've been three dead cops, for sure," Miami Beach public information officer Bobby Hernandez said.

As of Wednesday, the former All-Pro center still was sedated and in critical condition at Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital, charged with three counts of attempted murder. Robbins, 31, is expected to recover.

Maybe then there will be answers about Saturday night's bloody encounter in an office above a Miami Beach Irish pub. There, according to police, Robbins went berserk when confronted by the officers. Robbins, who has battled alcoholism and bipolar disorder - and went AWOL from the Raiders on the eve of the 2003 Super Bowl in San Diego - was found hiding in a stall of a women's restroom in the building's administrative offices.

What happened next reads in the police report like a scene from an action movie.

Robbins had earlier barged in the back door of the pub and surprised the cook, who, according to police, had never met Robbins. When Robbins brushed by the man and drove his shoulder through the door of an interior office, the pub owner called police.

Police searched the building and Detectives Michael Muley and Mark Schoenfeld, wearing street clothes, found Robbins sitting on a toilet in the women's room. They coaxed him out, but when Robbins saw uniformed officer Colin Pfrogner approaching to search him for weapons, Robbins went on the attack.

He spun, grabbed Pfrogner and drove him into a door, the report said. Robbins was laughing as he pummeled the officer even as the two other policemen kicked and punched the former player.

Robbins got off Pfrogner and picked up Schoenfeld, slamming him into the walls of the hallway until the officer passed out. Then Robbins turned back to a stumbling Pfrogner and, police said, reached for the officer's gun.

Muley pointed his gun at Robbins and told him to stop or he would shoot. Robbins spun around, palmed Muley by the face and drove his head into a wall. A snarling and growling Robbins grabbed Muley's right forearm, even as the gun pointed toward his chest. Muley pulled the trigger twice.

Robbins grabbed his chest and dropped to his knees. But a second later, he cursed at Muley, charged him, knocked the gun out of his hand and tackled him before finally submitting.

"If he had gotten a hold of their guns, it could have been a lot worse," Hernandez said.

Robbins, who now lives in Englewood, Colo., also was charged with two felony counts of attempting to deprive an officer of his weapon, two felony counts of resisting an officer with violence and misdemeanor trespassing. The felony counts carry possible five-year sentences.

Robbins' precipitous fall began after he missed the Super Bowl against Tampa Bay, spending the days leading up to the game drinking. The alcohol only worsened his bipolar disorder, diagnosed in 1996. It takes him from euphoric highs to desperate lows.

Before the game, then-Raiders coach Bill Callahan told a "disoriented'' Robbins to fly home, but the player showed up at the airport disheveled and without identification for boarding. Robbins' agent checked him into a hospital, where he was on a suicide watch during the Raiders' 48-21 loss.

After the Super Bowl incident, Robbins spent 30 days in the Betty Ford Clinic for treatment of his alcoholism and to help him deal with his bipolar disorder. Since 2002, he also has dealt with a chronic knee injury, which required three surgeries in 13 months.

In July, he failed a drug test for THG, a steroid known as human growth hormone, and the Raiders released him. He started a home-building company and a recording studio, but friends say his life was in turmoil. On Christmas Eve, he was arrested after allegedly hitting a bouncer at a San Francisco nightclub.

ILLUSTRATIONS/PHOTOS: PHOTO (C)
Barrett Robbins (mug)

Copyright Palm Beach Newspapers, Inc., 2005

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