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Dolphins DE Taylor victim of hate crime

DAVIE, Fla. (May 1, 2006) -- A man faces hate crime charges stemming from an alleged assault on Miami Dolphins linebacker Jason Taylor that left the NFL player with a minor injury to one forearm, police said. Redmond Charles Burns, 24, allegedly used racial epithets and yelled obscenities at Taylor, who is black, during an alleged highway confrontation Sunday night. Taylor told police that Burns grabbed his shirt, ripping it in several places, and suffered a "minor laceration" from a metal object Burns allegedly used to attack him.

Taylor, who played in a charity golf tournament Monday in Tampa, said in a statement issued by the Dolphins that his injury was minor.

"My wife and I were the victims in an unfortunate incident last night, but we are both fine," Taylor said.

Burns, who is white, faces charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, which police have also classified as a hate crime that would permit tougher penalties. Burns also is charged with obstruction for allegedly resisting arrest after the incident involving Taylor.

Burns was being held Monday on $10,600 bond at the Broward County jail. It wasn't immediately clear if he had a lawyer to represent him.

Taylor, 31, has played nine seasons with the Dolphins and emerged as one of the team's best defensive players. Last season, Taylor had 12 quarterback sacks among his 52 tackles. For his career, Taylor has 540 tackles and 92½ sacks.

According to Davie police, Taylor and his wife, Katina, were on their way home from church Sunday evening when Taylor saw a red pickup truck backing up at an intersection in the path of his car.

Katina Taylor is the sister of Zach Thomas, another starting Dolphins linebacker.

As Taylor attempted to pass, the driver of the pickup "intentionally swerved directly at Taylor" and caused him to run off the road.

The passenger in the truck, who wasn't charged, allegedly got out and started to bang on the hood of Taylor's trunk. The 6-foot-6, 255-pound Taylor then got out of his car and was confronted by the 5-foot-11, 168-pound Burns, who was allegedly yelling racial insults and threatening to kill Taylor, according to a police report.

After grabbing Taylor's shirt, Burns allegedly went back to his truck, got an "unknown metal object" and tried to stab Taylor with it. Taylor suffered a minor wound to his left forearm but declined medical treatment.

Both men then jumped back in the truck and took off, with Taylor following and dialing 911. He lost the truck in a trailer park but was able to identify Burns from a photo lineup that police provided.

Police located the truck and tried to arrest Burns as he walked out of a trailer home, but he resisted violently and then tried to kick out the rear window of a police car. Burns was eventually subdued using pepper spray and taken to jail.

Taylor has a home in Davie, which is also the location of the Dolphins' training facility.

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