Henry Ruggs III Released From Raiders After Deadly Crash

Keira Zehna , Staff Writer

Henry Ruggs III answering questions from the media during the NFL Scouting Combine. Courtesy of Zach Bolinger

On November 2nd, 2021 at 3:39 a.m, former wide receiver for the Las Vegas Raiders Henry Ruggs III hit a Toyota Rav4 at 156 mph, killing 23-year-old driver Tina Tintor and her dog Max.

Ruggs, who was selected by the Raiders with the No. 12 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, signed a four-year rookie deal worth $16.67 million with the team in July 2020. Before being selected he was a three-sport athlete in high school and played college football for the University of Alabama.

The day following the crash, Ruggs showed up to court in a neck brace with various other injuries and his bail set at $150,000, though the state of Nevada asked for the bail to be set at $1 million. 

In the state of Nevada, a DUI resulting in death is a category B felony and carries a sentence of 2-20 years in prison with no option of probation following conviction, as well as the possibility for another 1-6 for reckless driving. In addition to this charge, the court also charged Ruggs with DUI resulting in substantial bodily harm, possession of a gun while under the influence, and reckless driving resulting in death or substantial bodily harm. 

A few hours later, the Raiders put out a statement that read, “Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the victim of this horrific tragedy. We will continue to gather facts and monitor the matter under our policies, but our thoughts at this time are with those impacted by this devastating incident.” They later announced they were releasing Ruggs from the team. 

A spokesperson for Tintor’s family told USA Today, “Tina’s tragic loss has devastated her family beyond a grief they could ever comprehend. Family was everything to Tina, and she was the light of her parents’ life. Tina lived in Las Vegas since she was a baby. She loved her 3-year-old Golden Retriever, Max, who passed alongside her Tuesday morning.” 

Ruggs’ attorneys David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld claimed the fire department waited to put out the fire that enveloped Tina Tintor’s car, and asked people to hold their judgement while they conduct their investigation. “Firemen did not attempt to extinguish the fire… for approximately 20 minutes at which time the entire vehicle was engulfed in flames.” In response, the Clark County Fire Department put out their own statement: “There were no delays in the response or in the attack on the fire.” 

In a recent press conference Rich Bisaccia, interim head coach of the Raiders, said the team met up and eventually came to the conclusion to release Ruggs because although they understand he is going through a hard time, he “is going to have to pay the consequences for the actions.” In addition to this, Mark Davis, the owner of the Raiders, thought this would be best for the organization following the recent controversy with Jon Gruden. Ruggs’ DUI has added to the heat the Raiders and the NFL are already facing.

After a missed alcohol test on November 13, Ruggs was ordered to show up again in court. His lawyers acknowledged that while yes, he had missed a test, he had “self-tested”

minutes after. These tests are required as part of Ruggs’ conditions to be released; he must submit several alcohol tests a day.

“I will always be there for him,” said former teammate and quarterback of the LV Raiders Derek Carr, “He needs to be loved. If no one else will do it, I’ll do it.” In a personal anecdote, Raiders fan Victor H. commented, “Carr always impresses me with his thoughts and words. He’s the leader the Raiders need.”