A legally deaf Seattle Seahawks fullback has been accused of a hit and run in King County, Washington. NBC Seattle reports that Coleman was arrested “on investigation of vehicular assault and hit and run.” Since he was 3 years old, Coleman has been partially deaf and uses hearing aides to get by.
This is a breaking story so stay tuned for updates.
Here’s what we know so far:
1. Coleman Is Being Held Without Bail
He’s being held without bail, reports KOMO News. Coleman was arrested by police in Bellevue, Washington. The police department there will give an update on the arrest at 2 p.m. Pacific time. Pending the investigation, Coleman has been suspended by the Seahawks.
2. His Lawyer Says Coleman Wasn’t Under the Influence
The hit-and-run happened at around 6 p.m. on October 14. Speaking to the Seattle Times, Coleman’s lawyer said “There was no way on God’s green earth that Derrick Coleman was under the influence of anything.” The Times later reported that Coleman was driving a pick-up truck when the crash occurred. He allegedly fled the scene after hitting another car. The driver of that car suffered a broken collarbone, Coleman was unharmed.
3. Coleman’s Triumph Over His Hearing Disorder Has Made Him an Inspiration
Coleman is an inspirational figure within the NFL as he is the first deaf offensive player in the history of the league. In January 2014, Coleman was invited to appear in a Duracell batteries commercial where he told the world “They didn’t call my name, told me it was over. But I’ve been deaf since I was 3, so I didn’t listen.” The tagline for the campaign was “Trust the power within.” When asked about doing the commercial, Coleman said “They came to me, and said they liked my story, and I said OK, I want to join up. I just hope to inspire people, especially children, to trust the power within and achieve their dreams.” Just prior to the Super Bowl in 2014, Coleman, on the strength of the ad, became an inspiration to partially-deaf twins, Riley and Erin Kovalcik from New Jersey. In July 2015, he published the book, No Excuses: Growing Up Deaf and Achieving My Super Bowl Dreams.
4. Coleman Often Speaks About His Faith
He is a devout Christian, previously saying about his religion “I always say that God blessed me this morning and I can do what I do.” On his Twitter page, Coleman says that he’s “Paying It Forward Globally.”
5. He’s One of the Seahawks Only Fullbacks
So far this season, Coleman has started two game for the Seahawks. He is one of only two fullbacks on the team’s roster, along with Will Tukuafu. Coleman played college ball at UCLA and previously played for the Minnesota Vikings before joining Seattle. He’s a native of Los Angeles, going to high school at Troy High School in Fullerton.