Former NFL player Jabar Gaffney on 72-hour psychiatric hold

Jacksonville police detain Gaffney after call to gated community Friday night

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Former Raines Vikings, Florida Gator and NFL wide receiver Jabar Gaffney spent the weekend undergoing a mandatory mental health evaluation after police say he took pills and threatened to harm himself while holding a gun.

Heavily armed police responded Friday night to a rental home in the gated Highland Glen community after Gaffney's girlfriend reported he was making suicidal threats, according to a report obtained Monday from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

The woman told officers she saw Gaffney taking pills while they were on a FaceTime call. She also said he had a gun and had threatened to shoot himself if anyone came to the house.

Witnesses told police that responding in force to the home in the neighborhood off Beach and Hodges boulevards that they had heard a shot fired inside the home. Video and still photos the I-TEAM obtained of the incident showed officers with rifles out, telling neighbors to stay indoors.

According to the report, after he was taken from the house, Gaffney told officers he “drank one drink and took two sleeping pills," adding that he did “not want to kill himself and his girlfriend is crazy.”

Investigating officers wrote that Gaffney declined several offers for help from firefighters at the scene. Police took him to the Mental Health Resource Center on the Southside for a Baker Act hold, which under state law allows him to be detained for 72 hours.

The report also said that as police arrived at the center with Gaffney, he became ill and was sweating profusely.  As officers took him out of the patrol car, he vomited on the ground, but refused medical attention.

The incident happened while Gaffney is out on bond on a charge of criminal mischief. He is accused of vandalizing former NFL star Lito Sheppard's car in Jacksonville Beach over the summer. That charge came a year after Gaffney was charged with domestic battery.


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