Dolphins Lineman Underwood Enters Mental-Health Clinic After Stabbing Himself – Dimitrius Underwood

Dolphins Lineman Underwood Enters Mental-Health Clinic After Stabbing Himself – Dimitrius Underwood – Brief Article

The strange saga of Miami Dolphins defensive end Dimitrius Underwood recently took yet another unusual twist when the 22-year-old checked into a mental-health clinic following his release from a Lansing, MI, hospital where he was treated for serf-inflicted knife wounds.

Police say the 6-foot-6, 276-pound Underwood slashed his neck with two steak knives afar pacing around the home of Chastity Dyer, the mother of his twin 17-month-old children, chanting “I am not worthy of God” during a Sept. 27 visit.

No one in the home saw him cut himself, but several people in the neighborhood saw him running down the street afterward. Police found Underwood covered with blood on a downtown street after getting calls that a man was yelling for help.

“He was somewhat despondent,” police spokesman Lt. Ray Hall said. “He was upset, physically upset.”

Police took Underwood to Sparrow Hospital, where he spent four days undergoing treatment before entering the inpatient mental-health clinic.

The night before the stabbing incident, police found him near Lansing Community College after firefighters at a nearby station called them.

“He appeared somewhat confused,” said Lt. Ray Hall, spokesman for the Lansing Police Department. “He did appear to be talking to himself.”

Lansing police arrested and jailed Underwood on a warrant accusing him of not paying child support. Bond was posted a few hours later and he was released.

Underwood’s self-stabbing and admittance to the mental-health facility were the climaxes of a series of bizarre events surrounding the Michigan State defensive end.

Underwood first drew national attention after he was picked by Minnesota in the NFL first-round draft and then left the Vikings training camp in August without explanation just one day afar he signed a five-year, $5.3 million contract, forfeiting his $1.75 million bonus.

A reporter later found him in a Philadelphia hotel, where he had spent four days deciding if he should play football or serve God.

When Underwood returned to football to support his family, the Miami Dolphins picked him up on waivers. He signed with the team for $395,000, played one preseason game on Sept. 2, then injured his shoulder.

The Dolphins, who had a bye on Sunday, Sept. 26, granted the players a weekend-long furlough, during which Underwood visited Lansing.

Stu Weinstein, Dolphins team security investigator, described Underwood as “a little withdrawn” when he first arrived in Miami, but said everything appeared to be fine.

“When I last saw him [the Friday before the incident], he had a big smile on his face and was totally upbeat,” Weinstein said. “He was going up to visit his twins.”

Underwood’s mother, Eileen Underwood, recently told The Miami Herald that she wanted to speak out against a church Underwood began to attend while at Michigan State. She did not identify the church, but said she might take action against it.

“There are controlling spirits in there,” Eileen, an ordained minister who lives in Philadelphia, told the newspaper. “I visited one time and the pastor was talking about if a young man and woman in the church are dating and then they break up, he won’t let them date anyone else for six months.”

Eileen continued, “That’s not in the Bible. I know the Bible. That’s just someone trying to control people. It’s a den of witches sitting up in there.” She could not be reached for further comment.

Underwood attended Immanuel’s Temple Community Church, a nondenominational Christian church, for about a year, the Lansing State Journal reported. The Rev. Phillip Owens, the church’s pastor, dismissed the allegations by Underwood’s mother that the church is a cult.

“Any mother would be distraught,” he told the newspaper. “She’s grasping at straws. What she may not be facing here is that her son has some problems. The church is not a cult.”

Owens said that neither he nor his wife, Patricia, had ever counseled Underwood, and that the lineman attended the church sporadically since joining about a year ago. The pastor also told the State Journal that he had not had contact with Underwood since he left for Miami and did not know that the football player had returned to Lansing.

Dolphins coach Jimmy Johnson said that the team was placing Underwood on the reserved-nonfootball injury list.

“This will allow him to focus on his recovery, both medically and physically,” Johnson said. “It takes away the thought of playing this year and lets him get back on the right track and go through some counseling and focus on next year as far as playing for the Dolphins.”

Underwood’s high school pastor, the Rev. Moses Townsend, visited the football player at the mental health clinic and said that he is in good spirits.

“He’s up and around. He’s talking and laughing,” Townsend said. “I encouraged him to fight and get himself together. I think he will.”

COPYRIGHT 1999 Johnson Publishing Co.

COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group