View Full Version : Ken Hamlin - Thug? or Bad Spot?

Steel - X
10-18-2005, 09:53 AM
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/seahawks/2005-10-17-hamlin-hospital_x.htm?POE=SPOISVA (USA Today Story)

KIRKLAND, Wash. (AP) ? Seattle Seahawks safety Ken Hamlin was in serious but stable condition Monday with a fractured skull and other head injuries following a fight outside a downtown Seattle nightclub.
Hamlin's injuries included a small blood clot and bruising of the brain tissue. He was to remain in intensive care for the next day or two, team physician Stan Herring said.

"Right now, Ken is awake intermittently and talking to us," Herring said. "There is no evidence of brain damage, in that regard. We are going to need more time to see if there is residual problems from bruising of his brain."

He said the most pressing concern is whether the blood clot grows.

The Seahawks' starting free safety was involved in an altercation with two men who were not in custody, police said.

According to a police report, Hamlin and his girlfriend were leaving Larry's Nightclub in the Pioneer Square section of Seattle at about 2 a.m. Monday, several hours after the Seahawks defeated the Houston Texans on Sunday night.

The girlfriend told officers that Hamlin placed his hand on another man's back and said, "Excuse me." The man told Hamlin to stop pushing, and the two men began shoving each other.

According to the report, Hamlin then punched the man in the face; Herring said Hamlin has a fractured right hand. Another man struck Hamlin with his forearm, knocking him down, before the two men began fighting with other men nearby. Other witnesses told police one of the men hit Hamlin twice in the torso with some sort of magnetic street sign.

"At this point we have two suspects that are outstanding and we are continuing our investigation," Seattle police Officer Deanna Nollette told reporters Monday. "... Our hope is that we'll identify and arrest the suspects."

Several Seattle television stations reported late Monday night they had received telephone calls from a man who said his brother was one of those involved in the altercation and was found dead about three hours later in the Seward Park neighborhood.

Officer Rich Pruitt said Monday night he was aware of the brother's assertions but that police had no proof of any connection between the assault and a homicide victim whose body was found about 5 a.m. Monday.

The dead man, who had a criminal record, died of gunshot wounds, Pruitt said, adding, "We're investigating both incidents, the investigation is ongoing and we will look into all rumors and tips and check them out. At this point we do not have any connection."

Pruitt did not identify the dead man.

The club's owner, Larry Culp, said his security guards kept Hamlin separated from the two men outside for about 15 minutes as the bar was emptying at closing time. Culp said the guards tried to restrain Hamlin "five, six or eight times. The other guy started to back down, and as soon as the head of my security team turned his head, (Hamlin) went after him.

"He had plenty of chances to walk away from this incident," Culp said, adding Hamlin "went out of his way" to provoke a fight.

Culp released a security videotape showing Hamlin breaking free from club security guards after the initial altercation subsided.

Police found Hamlin lying in an intersection outside the club a few blocks north of Qwest Field, surrounded by a crowd of people.

Hamlin told officers he was in a lot of pain, and when asked what happened, he said, "I don't remember."

The report said Hamlin did not appear intoxicated.

"The only difficulty I have with this is, it's such a waste," Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said. "It seems rather pointless. It's not like you are playing a football game and all of a sudden you get hit and you get injured.

"It's one of those things that shouldn't have happened."

Holmgren talked to his team about it in an afternoon meeting. The NFC West-leading Seahawks then said a team prayer for Hamlin.

"It's pretty tough," said cornerback Marcus Trufant. "I'm very concerned about his health and I'm just hoping and praying that everything goes well."

"I think most of us are just really worried for him," quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. "You realize that the choices you make are important and there are consequences to some decisions ? and that off-the-field issues are very important."

Holmgren said Marquand Manuel, a fourth-year veteran from Florida, will replace Hamlin and make his first career start Sunday against Dallas.

Hamlin, a third-year veteran from Arkansas, had five tackles in Seattle's 42-10 win.

Steel - X
10-18-2005, 09:59 AM
Another interesting side of the story.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/sports/2002567514_kell18.html (Seattle Times)

This wasn't supposed to happen to the Seahawks anymore. Supposedly, they had rid themselves of their off-the-field worries. They had cleaned out the problems. Cut the knuckleheads.

This was a team that had grown up. It was more mature than its recent predecessors. These Seahawks were grown-ups.

There would be no more late-night calls to the coaching staff. No more fights or arrests. This was a team that was focused on doing more than any Seahawks team in 20 years.

But early yesterday morning, the phones rang again and another Seahawk was in danger. Free safety Ken Hamlin had been beaten up outside a Pioneer Square club. He was beaten so badly he suffered damage to his brain.

He remains in intensive care at Harborview Medical Center, listed in serious but stable condition. He has a skull fracture, a small blood clot and bruising of his brain tissue.

Of course, the concern today is for Hamlin's health. The hope is that he will recover fully and return to the game and the gritty position that defines him.

This is real life. This is real serious.

His coaches don't consider Hamlin a knucklehead. Far from it. Already, at 24, he has become a defensive leader. He is popular with his teammates.

He was in the wrong place at the wrong time, surrounded by the wrong people.

These incidents happen too frequently in professional sports. Late at night, testosterone mixes dangerously with alcohol. Athletes are challenged by wannabes looking for trouble, tempers erupt violently, and people get hurt.

How can players avoid this trouble? How are they supposed to unwind and celebrate after a game without putting themselves and their season in jeopardy? Where are the safe places, and can any place that sells alcohol truly be considered safe?

Football teams spend a lot of money on security. Off-duty police officers travel with the Seahawks and, on nights before games, are stationed outside the hotel elevators.

But the Seahawks' security can't watch over the players 24/7, and early yesterday morning, when Hamlin needed help more than ever, none was around.

After Sunday night's 42-10 cruise past the Houston Texans, Hamlin went up the street from Qwest Field with his girlfriend to relax and celebrate and enjoy the glow of this season's 4-2 beginning.

Hamlin should be allowed to go to a club after a game, shouldn't he? Or should a player's responsibility to his team's success keep him out of clubs during the season? Should he have to celebrate in private?

If the police report is accurate, what was Hamlin doing even thinking about hitting somebody who might have been taunting him? Could he have ignored the taunting and walked away?

At that point was he fighting for his life? Had the situation escalated that quickly? He was brutally beaten. Is there anything the team could have done to keep him safe?

Hamlin is maturing into a very good safety on a defense that seems finally to be figuring it out.

Even though coach Mike Holmgren occasionally has had to tell Hamlin to tone down his on-the-field rhetoric, Hamlin has been a favorite of Holmgren's since his first minicamp in 2003.

His ferocity is infectious. He loves playing football. He loves to hit receivers who dare cross the middle, and he loves the macho taunting that goes with his position, even if it sometimes draws his coach's ire.

This defense was becoming Ken Hamlin's kind of defense.

It was a defense that could put pressure on the quarterback. A defense that was stopping the run. A defense that, can you believe it, could blitz.

After all the mistakes, the bad signings and bad attitudes, this was just beginning to look like the kind of defense that could take the Seahawks places.

Then Hamlin went out to Pioneer Square to celebrate the Seahawks' early success. And now he's in the hospital recovering from a serious beating.

The concern today is for Hamlin's health. But something has to be done to keep players out of harm's way. To protect players from the public and, in some cases, from themselves.

10-18-2005, 11:49 AM
Yeah, I just read this story at ESPN.com... this is really too bad. I didn't hear anything about one of the supects being murdered. That is weird... it may have been a prank phone call to the TV stations.

tony hipchest
10-18-2005, 11:54 AM
good read. he was probably in a bad spot that he couldve easilly walked away from. unfortunately no rich athelete wants to walk away and be called a "puss". im sure an inflamed ego played some part in this.

tony hipchest
10-18-2005, 11:56 AM
Yeah, I just read this story at ESPN.com... this is really too bad. I didn't hear anything about one of the supects being murdered. That is weird... it may have been a prank phone call to the TV stations.
no they found a body. now whether the dead dude was involved is yet to be determined.

Steel - X
10-18-2005, 12:51 PM
Very interesting points. I am really not sure what to think of the matter as of right now. If the confirmed "body" they found was one of these guys I will have lost all respect for Hamlin. I think he is a great safety and is just showing how good he is this season.

1. I understand a fight that shit happens all the time at bars at closing time. Anyone of us that could have happned to.

2. If he got in a fight then called a posse member telling him who it was and had that guy murdered that is just completly wrong.

10-19-2005, 01:58 AM
I see it like getting money from the ATM after 2 am...Does anything really good happen?

Yeah he is allowed to go and wind down after the game. But being a sports guy in a bar after a game day is diffenent than going on a wednesday night. I had two fights to deal with Saturday, and I'm the chef! People drink all day and then look for reasons. So if I was an athlete, do I really want to put myself in this postion? Just order a pizza in...

Steel - X
10-19-2005, 09:16 AM
Seahawk football player Ken Hamlin remained in serious but stable condition Tuesday in the intensive-care unit at Harborview Medical Center.

Karl Davis is searched by security before entering Larry's Nightclub on Tuesday. Seahawks player Ken Hamlin was injured in an assault outside the club.
It was the description of the events surrounding his injuries that began to change.

Hamlin, 24, hired attorney John Wolfe one day after the owner of Larry's Nightclub said Hamlin resisted peacekeeping attempts in the confrontation outside the Pioneer Square establishment early Monday morning.

"We're troubled by the accusation that Ken was the aggressor," Wolfe said. "The accusation was false, and I've been brought in to defend him."

Hamlin suffered a fractured skull and had a blood clot and swelling of the brain tissue in the incident, which is being investigated as an assault. Hamlin's brother, Keith, was also involved in the confrontation, and suffered undisclosed injuries.

Larry Culp, the club's owner, showed the surveillance footage to multiple media outlets on Monday. Culp was not present at the time of the incident, but said the surveillance footage and descriptions from his security personnel support his claim that Hamlin resisted attempts to be restrained.

"All I know is the video and we're restraining him in the video," Culp said Tuesday, when asked about his description of the incident. "It's free speech."

Culp said other Seahawks players were present at the club, but did not identify them. The team has not said which other players were present.

Seattle police on Tuesday continued to investigate both the assault on Hamlin and the slaying of Terrell Devon Milam, 31. Milam's family contends that he was involved in the fight with Hamlin just three hours before his body was discovered early Monday morning.

"We're still looking into the possibility of a connection," police spokeswoman Debra Brown said.

The investigations remain separate, but concurrent, within the homicide unit.

Detectives investigating the assault on Hamlin are reviewing audio tapes made to 911 dispatchers, so department officials declined to release those tapes publicly.

"They're part of the investigation," Brown said.

The department would not release any additional information on the assault, nor on Milam's death. Milam's younger brother, Tramaine Isabell, identified Milam on surveillance tape and said his brother punched Hamlin during the altercation.

A police report of the altercation was based on a witness, identified in the report as Hamlin's girlfriend. She said the incident started as Hamlin led her out of the club, saying "excuse me" as he moved past a man.

Soon, the two men were shoving each other and, according to the witness, Hamlin punched the man with his right hand. She said another man knocked Hamlin down. A different witness said someone struck Hamlin twice with a metal street sign while he was on the ground.

The surveillance footage does not show Hamlin either throwing a punch or being struck. He is shown pulling away from people who are trying to restrain him. Hamlin suffered a fractured right hand at some point in the altercation, presumably from a punch.

It's believed that Hamlin's brother has returned to Houston after speaking with the police.

Michael Hamlin, their father, is a police officer in Memphis, Tenn. He declined comment Tuesday night.

Hamlin's mother arrived in town Monday. Lawrence Temple, Hamlin's agent, also arrived on Monday. He was with Hamlin at the hospital on Tuesday.

"Ken is in stable condition but remains under observation," Temple said in the statement announcing the hiring of Wolfe. "He is conscious and has his family with him in this time of need. Ken and his family appreciate the well-wishes but ask that people respect his privacy in this time of recovery."

Several teammates came to visit Hamlin on Tuesday, the team's day off.

Meanwhile, the King County Medical Examiner's Office said Milam died from multiple gunshot wounds.

Milam, whose aliases included T-Kidd, TK and Trey, was well known to police and had spent nine years and two months out of the last 11 years in prison.

Milam's body was discovered by a jogger at Seward Park about 5 a.m. Monday.

Steel - X
10-19-2005, 09:20 AM
Ken Hamlin had choices on Sunday night. Not just when he opted to venture down to Pioneer Square for some nightlife shortly after his Seahawks had pounded the Houston Texans in a nationally televised football contest.

Not just when he decided to stay out until 2 a.m., waiting for the last call to finish up his stay at Larry's Nightclub.

Not just when he got into a pushing match on his way out of the bar on First Avenue.

Hamlin could have made different decisions at each of those points, but it would be naive to think he should be blamed for any of those moves.

The man is 24. He's entitled to enjoy the same freedoms as the rest of us.

I'm not one to say professional athletes should be different than the rest of society. It's hypocritical to think a football player should be held to a higher standard just because he's in the business of entertaining us on Sunday afternoons.

But here's where I veer sharply from the notion that Hamlin was just in the ``wrong place at the wrong time,'' as some of his teammates suggest. And where I'm not buying the description of Hamlin as a ``victim'' of assault, as Seahawks management asserted.

While the Seahawks safety deserves our sympathy after having his skull broken in a fight, it seems clear Hamlin was a victim of his own hot-headed anger in putting himself in a bad situation.

Hamlin had one huge final choice that made the ultimate difference. No matter what happened prior, the third-year Seahawk had a chance to walk away from his troubles on the sidewalk of Seattle.

He had several security guards holding him back, as seen on videos provided by the nightclub. He had an offer to come back inside the club to cool down while the crowd dispersed, according to the club's owner. He had friends at his side, pleading with him to let it go.

But Hamlin made a very bad decision at that point. He chose to go after his antagonist. He chose to fight, not in self-defense, not in a protective manner, but in outright angry aggression.

Hamlin even took off his shirt, stripping down to a tank top, obviously looking to macho up in unmistakable fashion.

Keep hammer in holster

It's sadly unfortunate that the big-man attitude that makes Hamlin a hit on the football field resulted in him getting hurt on the street.

There's a reason Hamlin's nickname is ``The Hammer.'' He is renowned for his ultra-aggressive play and molar-rattling hits.

Hamlin's reputation was cemented in the first game of his rookie year when he leveled New Orleans receiver Donte Stallworth with such force that the Saint's helmet went flying off.

He's the kind of guy you want on your team if you're playing in the violent world of professional football. A tone-setter. A defender who has opposing receivers hearing footsteps, peeking over their shoulder when they should be focused on the ball.

This is the behavior that earns Hamlin a very healthy paycheck. And, yet, the biggest challenge for Hamlin and football players at all levels is to separate sports from real life and to flip the adrenaline switch off upon leaving the stadium.

Where Hamlin can knock the air out of an opposing receiver and then stand above him, beating his chest and bellowing boisterously in the din of 65,000 fans at Qwest Field, the same approach doesn't work a few blocks north in Pioneer Square.

In the real world, it takes a big man to walk away from a perceived challenge. It takes a big man to say, ``Forget it, man. This isn't worth a fight.''

It takes the biggest man to put his tough-guy image in his back pocket and let some stranger woof it up, knowing the battle isn't worth waging.

Tough choices

None of us know exactly what was said or done outside the nightclub in the early hours of Monday morning, or what preceded the incident inside.

It's worth noting that two U.S. military members were beaten up outside the same nightclub in July. Police said that quarrel evolved from a stranger groping one of the women in the servicemen's group. That is the sort of situation that could draw any of us into a fight.

Things happen. Wrong place, wrong time, wrong jerks making trouble. Surely the majority of these type of incidents can be avoided merely by staying away from areas where alcohol and the general public are mixed in volatile combinations. It would be great if the Seahawks had 53 players who all are safely home and tucked into bed by 11 p.m. every night.

It would also be great if everyone in the world -- pro athletes or otherwise -- would check their egos and aggressions at the door and we all lived in peaceful harmony.

Given neither of those will ever be guaranteed, the more realistic approach is to remind Ken Hamlin and the rest of us that we almost always have choices. And walking away from a fight, no matter the circumstances, is rarely a bad decision.

Steel - X
10-19-2005, 09:28 AM
I see it like getting money from the ATM after 2 am...Does anything really good happen?

Yeah he is allowed to go and wind down after the game. But being a sports guy in a bar after a game day is diffenent than going on a wednesday night. I had two fights to deal with Saturday, and I'm the chef! People drink all day and then look for reasons. So if I was an athlete, do I really want to put myself in this postion? Just order a pizza in...

I agree to a point here ironcity. Yes you should pick places where you want to go at the right time but the guy is 24 this could have happened to any of us. I am not sure of your age but at 24 I was not looking forward to going to the bar on Wednesday night were you? The weekend was always the time to go out and have a few drinks. Hamlin was out having a good time with his boys. To me nothing in any of these articles put him in a spot to get his a$$ beat in to almost a coma. Do you? I do a gree with the fact that you are a known person by everyone and something like this is more likely to happen to you then the rest but he was just looking to have a little fun.

Steel - X
10-26-2005, 08:31 AM
SEATTLE - Seattle Seahawks safety Ken Hamlin has been released from the hospital, one week after he was beaten up outside a nightclub in the city's Pioneer Square district.

Hamlin suffered a fractured skull, a blood clot on the brain and a fractured hand in the fight Oct. 17. He was released from Seattle's Harborview Medical Center over the weekend, hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg-Hanson said Monday. She would not provide any additional details.

Police are investigating whether there is a connection between the fight and the death of Terrell Milam, 31. Milam was found shot to death on a sidewalk near Seattle's Seward Park, about 51/2 miles from the bar.

On Monday, there were no new details to report, police spokesman Sean Whitcomb said.

Investigators have confirmed that Milam had been at the bar a few hours before his death. They have not said whether they believe Milam was involved in the fight with Hamlin.

According to King County Superior Court and U.S. District Court documents, Milam had a long history of drug use. During a dice game in 1994, he shot an acquaintance -- a member of a rival gang -- five times, killing him, and was sentenced to 41/2 years for manslaughter.

On Sunday, the Seahawks beat the Dallas Cowboys, 13-10.

It was the first game Hamlin had missed since he entered the league as a second-round draft pick by Seattle in 2003. Marquand Manuel started in Hamlin's spot.

10-28-2005, 12:24 AM
Steel-X, understand about him not deserving any of this, but much like when our guys go down to the Strip District, you gotta know when the scene isn't controlled and get out of Dodge despite your intention and right to wind down. Because yes at 24 you don't always look at the big picture till its too late.

Steel - X
10-28-2005, 12:33 PM
Yes I agree but that goes for everyone.

Steel - X
01-25-2006, 07:38 AM
Thought I would bumpy this for this week. Never got many Seahawks reaction to this. React to me.

Steel - X
01-25-2006, 07:43 AM
The first to receive widespread attention, because it was caught on videotape, was the July beating of two soldiers after a dispute that allegedly began in the queue to enter Larry's. Then Seattle Seahawks player Ken Hamlin was seriously hurt in October after a fight resulting from a dispute that began in the club.

Full Article (http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/256802_larrys24.html)

Was looking for an article on his status but really didnt find anything, except about this bar! Man stay away from Larry's Nightclub if your ever in Seattle, thats if it is still open when you go.

01-25-2006, 11:10 AM
I've never seen this before, thanks for the bump

01-25-2006, 11:11 AM
What's there to say? Getting smacked in the head with a metal sign while down on the ground is always a crime by the one doing it, and always a tragedy for the one getting it. The fact that Hamlin is a Seahawk is incidental. It sucks for us, of course -- our secondary was stretched pretty thin this season even without losing him. Losing him just compounded the problem.

As was noted earlier, he didn't necessarily exercise the best judgment in being where he was when he was. And if he's the one that escalated the situation from verbal to physical, then he was just plain stupid.

Nevertheless, there were some good things to come out of it. Everyone in the Seahawks org was made more aware of potential hazards off the field and took more care in their day-to-day routines (up until the Locklear thing last week). For the Cowboys game, Hamlin did a taped message for the players and it proved to be a huge motivational thing. And since he has been well enough, he has been motivating the other players on the sideline during games, and helping them prepare during the week.

Was that the sort of response you were looking for?

Steel - X
01-25-2006, 12:22 PM
Yes talon it was. Since we did not play you this season I was wondering what the Seattle faithful thought of the ordeal. Thanks for the post. Rep for you.