Suburban Boca man accused of trying to bribe deputy with Dolphins tickets

A man charged with offering a police officer two tickets to today's Miami Dolphins pro football season finale to avoid arrest might be mostly guilty of overestimating their value, a judge said at the man's bond hearing this morning.

Eric Scott Topalian, 23, of suburban Boca Raton, is charged with two counts each of possessing controlled drugs without a prescription, bribery of a public servant, threatening a public servant and resisting arrest without violence.

Documents detailing the alleged incident weren't available today because of the holiday. Palm Beach County Jail records show Topalian was booked Saturday afternoon by Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputies.

Although the Dolphins face their hated rivals, the New York Jets, they've struggled through yet another sub-.500 season. They started the season 0-7, fired head coach Tony Sparano in mid-December with three games left to go, and go into this afternoon's Jets face-off with a 5-10 record.

"Have you been watching the Dolphins? No one's going to go to that game," Palm Beach County Judge Timothy P. McCarthy told Topalian.

Topalian began to say something but the judge admonished him that it probably would be better if he didn't discuss the potential value of an alleged bribe while he still was considered innocent until proven guilty.

"Miami-Jets tickets aren't worth a damn," McCarthy said, and reduced Topalian's bond accordingly, ordering him held in lieu of $6,000 bail.


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