Woods responders concerned about domestic violence
Associated Press Writer
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – The ambulance crew that responded after Tiger Woods crashed his SUV would not allow his wife to ride with him to the hospital because they suspected domestic violence, documents released Friday by the Florida Highway Patrol show.
But a police officer who responded said he didn’t know where the crew got that information because he never heard it from anyone at the scene.
The reports also showed Woods’ wife, Elin, turned over two bottles of pain pills to troopers after the Nov. 27 crash outside the couple’s suburban Orlando home.
Woods crashed his sport utility vehicle into a fire hydrant at 2:30 a.m., and officers found him lying in the street. The couple told investigators Elin Woods smashed the back window of the SUV with a golf club so she could unlock a door and pull him out.
Woods, the world’s No. 1 golfer, has strenuously denied his wife abused him.
“Elin never hit me that night or any other night. There has never been an episode of domestic violence in our marriage, ever,” Woods said during a televised apology to his wife, family and fans last month.
The crash led to disclosures that Woods had affairs with several women. He was charged with careless driving and fined $164.
The report showed Health Central Hospital, which treated Woods after the crash, refused to release blood test results to investigators without a warrant. The state attorney’s office wouldn’t request one, saying there wasn’t enough probable cause that a crime had been committed.
Cpl. Thomas R. Dewitt, one of the highway patrol investigators, also wrote in his report that he asked for videotape from a security camera at the Woods’ home.
“There were two cameras that should have documented (the vehicle) leaving the driveway and portions of the crash,” Dewitt wrote.
But the golfer’s lawyer, Mark NeJame, told him the couple didn’t know if the camera worked and couldn’t figure out how to remove the tape.
NeJame told Dewitt he had looked at monitors inside the home and they were blank. There was no indication whether officers got the video despite several requests.
NeJame said he had no comment on the report.
Messages left with the hospital’s ambulance service and the FHP were not immediately returned.
Before the latest report by the Highway Patrol, the focus had begun to shift in recent weeks to when Woods would return to professional golf.
Two people with knowledge of Woods’ plans told The Associated Press on Thursday that he intends to remain out of golf at least until the Masters in early April. The two people spoke on condition of anonymity because only Woods is supposed to release such information.
Woods has been practicing at Isleworth near his Orlando home the last two weeks, and swing coach Hank Haney flew there recently to work with him.
Woods has not played since Nov. 15, when he won the Australian Masters in Melbourne for his 82nd career victory.
AP Golf Writer Doug Ferguson in Doral contributed to this report.