By: Will Burchfield

In what many observers believe is willful ignorance on the part of local police, Jacksonville Jaguars running back Denard Robinson has yet to face any kind of serious investigation into the suspicious car accident in which he was involved.

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Early Sunday morning, July 3, Robinson was found asleep behind the wheel of his Chevrolet Impala as it was sinking into a retention pond just outside Jacksonville. Robinson’s companion, Marissa O. Staples, was also asleep in the passenger seat.

It is believed that Robinson, 25, took a reckless left-hand turn through an intersection, “causing the vehicle to go over the sidewalk and down the embankment,” per the crash report. His car then nosed into the retention pond at the bottom of the grassy slope, which is where it was found when a responding officer arrived at the scene around 4:20 a.m.

When they were woken up, both Robinson and Staples, 29, appeared dazed and out of touch. They had neglected to make any effort to escape the sinking vehicle, preferring, instead, to remain inside, police said. When Staples woke up at the prodding of the police, she rolled down her window and said, “What’s up?” Robinson, meanwhile, went right back to sleep, according to reports.

Before Robinson got out of the car, he had to be convinced of where he was. According to police, he thought he was still on the road despite water rising above the driver-side door.

“I had to tell the driver multiple times the car was in a pond and was sinking,” the report said.

The responding officer then had to unbuckle Robinson’s seat belt and turn off the vehicle, before coaxing him out of the passenger door. Staples, refusing to exit the car, had to be removed by force.

Despite showing clear signs of impairment, Robinson was allowed to leave the scene without being subjected to drug or alcohol tests. How it was determined that “the driver was not impaired and should not be charged with DUI” is unclear.

Robinson, for his part, simply claimed he was tired.

On Wednesday morning, the Florida Times-Union sent the following questions to the Jacksonville Sherriff’s Office:

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1. What tests did the officer perform and what protocol did he follow to determine that Robinson and passenger Marissa O. Staples were just tired and not impaired despite not realizing they were in a pond after jumping a curb and crashing?

2. Were both of them so tired that they didn’t know what had happened?

3. No citations were issued. What about careless driving?

4. Do police know where they were coming from?

5. How did Robinson and his passenger get wherever they were going at 4:30 a.m. after being woken by police?

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said Wednesday afternoon that the responding officers will face further questioning regarding the incident, but declined to answer any of the above questions.

Per the same Times-Union story, Williams wrote in an email, “I have ordered a review of the incident by the officers’ chain of command. Based on that review, any necessary and warranted corrective action will be taken.”

It has been widely speculated that police turned a blind eye to Robinson’s transgressions given his status as a popular local athlete. Robinson has spent the past three seasons with the Jaguars, where he has been featured mostly as a running back.

Before the NFL, Robinson attended the University of Michigan, where he starred on both the football and track and field teams.

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Three years prior to Sunday’s incident, Robinson was cited with running a red light at the same intersection where his most recent accident occurred.