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Restraining Order Sought Against Elijah Dukes

[editor's note, by R.J. Anderson]Credit to Patrick for the in depth write up, my name is on it only to preserve the comments.

Elijah Dukes is in trouble again. The St. Petersburg Times reports in this morning's editions that Elijah Dukes' estranged wife has sought a restraining order against her husband. The request for the order comes after what she says are threats against her life in numerous forms over the last several weeks. The matter has been referred to a court proceeding scheduled for May 30th, and Dukes could face criminal charges if the allegations are substantiated.  

According to NiShea Gilbert, Dukes not only sent her a text message that included an image of a handgun, but he also left a voice mail message on her phone. The voice mail contained an individual, allegedly Dukes, saying "You dead, dawg" and "I ain't even bullshitting. Your kids, too." Dukes declined to make any comment of substance on the matter when approached, and the Rays remained non-committal and mostly silent on the matter, taking a wait and see approach.

This is not the first time Gilbert has sought a restraining order against Dukes. She sought one several weeks ago that was dismissed due to her absence at a scheduled court hearing on the matter. The latest request for a restraining order was filed last Thursday. A voice left on Gilbert's answering machine that she attributes to Dukes contains the word "dawg" five times, some variation of "fuck" three times, and the word "nigger" twice. It was stated in a mostly threatening manner, was extremely repetitive, and reads as follows :

"Hey, dawg. It's on, dawg. You dead, dawg. I ain't even bullshitting. Your kids too, dawg. It don't even matter to me who is in the car with you. Nigger, all I know is, nigger, when I see your motherfucking ass riding, dawg, it's on. As a matter of fact, I'm coming to your motherfucking house."

Gilbert did not pursue criminal charges against Dukes, and the restraining order is the only legal action she has attempted to make with regards to the matter. Dukes has been in anger management and since being suspended for the final month of the 2006 season with Durham, he has been relatively well-behaved. A pot bust in a car this January is the only incident to be spoken of. Dukes and Gilbert have been married for almost 15 months; they have two children, both out of wedlock. Dukes has had three other children by three different women. Gilbert had filed for divorce once before in the marriage, and says that this time she will consummate it.

The main incident to be spoken of in this matter occurred at Gilbert's school, however. On April 30th, Dukes allegedly barged into Gilbert's classroom during her lunch period. He reportedly began threatening her and lunging at her desk. Gilbert and another staff member then proceeded to the front office of the school with another faculty member when Dukes left the room. The resident School Resource Officer calmed him down and escorted him off the campus.

This incident is obviously not the first to have plagued Dukes throughout his troubled career. He has had numerous arrests since his youth for assault and drug charges, among other things, and was transferred throughout numerous high schools for behavioral problems. If upheld, this restraining order would be the second one Gilbert has taken out against Dukes. One other restraining order was filed against the Rays outfielder by Carla Bryant in October 2005, both ordered Dukes to stay away from the complainant for one year. Dukes and Gilbert have had a long string of domestic disputes during their troubled relationship, which includes four summonses to his residence by police. He has been accused of, among other things, throwing a remote control at her, threatening her, throwing a glass candy bowl at her, hitting her with a soda can, and ripping a phone cord out of the wall as Gilbert attempted to call police. Conversely, Gilbert was arrested last year, accused of scratching her husband's back in another dispute. Dukes has received one related probation for a domestic quarrel back in 2005.