Ryan Moats, a Houston Texans running back who was detained by a Dallas police officer as his mother-in-law was dying, said he feared for...

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DALLAS — Ryan Moats, a Houston Texans running back who was detained by a Dallas police officer as his mother-in-law was dying, said he feared for his wife’s life during the ordeal.

“I was afraid for her because he was pointing a gun at her,” Moats told ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America” on Monday.

Officer Robert Powell has publicly apologized “to all those who have been rightfully angered by my actions on March 18, 2009.”

Moats said he accepts the apology and added, “I hope it is sincere.”

When Powell pulled him over outside a Plano, Texas, hospital, Moats recalled, “I didn’t realize what was going on at the time. Once I got out, I realized it was pretty serious.”

Despite Moats’ pleas he needed to get into the hospital because his wife’s mother was dying of cancer, Powell detained him for 13 minutes, threatening him with arrest. The officer stopped Moats, 26, because his sport-utility vehicle rolled through a red light en route to the hospital.

Tamishia Moats, Ryan’s wife, and two other family members were in the SUV when Powell pulled them over.

Powell, watching traffic from a hidden spot, turned on his lights and sirens, caught up with Moats’ vehicle and followed it into a hospital parking lot, outside the emergency room. There, the officer — who has been placed on leave — detained Moats, threatening and berating him.

Moats’ mother-in-law, Jonetta Collinsworth, 45, died while Powell wrote Moats a ticket and lectured him.

“I understand about the red light, but I thought he’d have some kind of sympathy,” Moats said.


Plaxico Burress, 31, will return to court today in his gun-possession case as his lawyers and prosecutors haggle over a plea deal and what punishment the New York Giants receiver should face for accidentally shooting himself in a crowded nightclub last year.

A law-enforcement official with knowledge of the case said Burress and prosecutors have been in active discussions about a plea deal, but remain at odds over the terms, with the District Attorney’s office pushing for a stiffer punishment than what defense lawyers believe Burress deserves. His attorney, Ben Brafman, said Burress will appear in court today but the hearing will be adjourned.

Brafman declined to comment on a possible plea deal.

• The New Orleans Saints have re-signed backup quarterback Joey Harrington, 30, a former Oregon standout who was taken in the first round of the 2002 draft by the Detroit Lions.

• Offensive lineman Marvel Smith, previously with the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers, signed a two-year deal with San Francisco and might start at right tackle for the 49ers.

• Houston has signed defensive tackle Shaun Cody, 26, who spent his first four seasons with Detroit.