Simoni Lawrence, former U of M football captain, screwing over woman he hit on I-94

Categories: Accidents
SimoniFeat.jpg
Twitter
Lawrence tweeted this shortly after he was contacted by City Pages: "humble warrior i take the good with the bad the bad with the good.... nothing bothers me honestly"
:::: UPDATE :::: Simoni Lawrence, former U of M captain, still hasn't paid woman he hit on I-94

On the afternoon of March 19, 57-year-old Karla Rehberg was driving westbound on I-94 through downtown Minneapolis near the 11th Street exit when she saw traffic in front of her braking to a stop. She followed suit -- only to get rear-ended by a flashy white Camaro.

The force of the impact propelled her car into the back of the car in front of her. But thankfully, neither she nor her passenger -- her boyfriend's elderly mother -- were seriously hurt. (Rehberg claims she's been experiencing neck discomfort recently, however.)

Rehberg and the driver of the Camaro exchanged insurance information, and at first, his name -- Simoni Lawrence -- meant nothing to her. Only later, following some Googling, did she realize Lawrence, 24, was the 2009 defensive captain of the Gophers football team (read a gushing September 2009 Pioneer Press profile of him here) and had spent a bit of time on NFL rosters (without ever playing a game) before moving on to the Canadian Football League.

On the shoulder of I-94, Lawrence gave Rehberg his Geico insurance card. But when Rehberg called Geico to follow up, she was informed Lawrence hadn't paid his premiums and wasn't covered.

He may not have had insurance, but according to Rehberg, he had at one time or another owned an impressive fleet of vehicles.

"Geico started naming all these cars because he had a policy with them, and I thought they were actually just naming off categories of cars," she said.

Damage to Rehberg's 2010 Honda Fit was estimated to be upwards of $3,000. Her insurance deductible is $750, but as a self-employed Uptown-area hairdresser, Rehberg didn't want to dip into her own funds or risk having her insurance premiums go up in order to pay for an accident caused by a professional athlete (the average CFL salary is $82,500).

So she contacted Lawrence to figure out what was going on. According to her account of their conversation, Lawrence explained that "there were problems with his insurance," but said he would be able to compensate her in cash for the more than $3,000 in damage to her car once he received his next CFL check. He estimated it'd be a couple of months before he could pay up.

Rehberg was skeptical, but agreed to wait. She asked Lawrence to call her every week (she doesn't have texting on her phone) until he paid in hopes that'd keep him accountable. And sure enough, for most of the next couple of months, Lawrence called (Rehberg saved some of the voicemails).

Then, in May, Lawrence called and explained he'd be leaving Minneapolis to visit his mother. That would be the last Rehberg would hear from him, though she learned via his social media accounts that he's up in Canada playing for the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

She also learned, via his Twitter, that he apparently had enough dough to repair the damage done to his Camaro when he rear-ended her: Lawrence won't take Rehberg's calls, and she was blocked from his social media accounts after she posted a number of comments criticizing him about how he handled the situation. She's explored trying to take the matter to small-claims court but says she recently learned she can't because Lawrence isn't a Hennepin County resident. She says Lawrence never sent her a penny.

Rehberg's Honda Fit remains driveable, and she says that if push absolutely came to shove she could afford to pay her deductible, get her car repaired, and hope her premiums don't go up.

"If this was a person who I knew had nothing -- look, I know life isn't fair," she said. "I know he's able to [pay] for this, and that's probably where I'm struggling with it."

"But the main thing that bothers me is his attitude," she continued, pointing out that Lawrence's Twitter profile proclaims, "jesus leads me i follow deeper then twitter tho" and that he includes the hashtag #godfirst in many of his tweets. (In fact, Rehberg has taken to calling him Simoni "Godfirst" Lawrence.)

"I thought, you know, if you're trying to keep humble for the Lord, I'm not sure this is the route I'd take," Rehberg said.

City Pages called Lawrence and contacted him on Twitter to get his side of this story. Here's what he had to say: Later that same evening, Lawrence broke his silence and sent Rehberg this Facebook message:

SimoniMessage.JPG

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.



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28 comments
Givenchy
Givenchy

Wow, this guy is a supreme a-hole, a terrible role model, and an embarrassment to the U of M.  Grow up already, Simoni.

stephansonprop
stephansonprop

Not suprised, I am an insurance adjuster and some people think their cars need new stereos or rims before they they pay for insurance. I have handled claims where they are producing reciepts for $5,000.00 for stereo, rims and tires but did not have insurance.

Loserx1000
Loserx1000

Self a aborbed loser. God first. Ha ha. Godless.

Loserx1000
Loserx1000

Contact the cfl and his team so they know what kind of player represents their league....consequences for behavior

Loserx1000
Loserx1000

Typical self abosorded 'educated football' player. And probably thinks it is ok bc of his race. Karma. And a camero seriously. Ugh. I hope the community steps up for Karla. This guy is a puts and a loser.

horny4u
horny4u

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k2yeb
k2yeb topcommenter

Pro huh? I love how people think being in a game or roster makes you a pro athlete for life. Shame on him for not paying, but I am sure the law will catch up to his flight.  

Fluffy Singler
Fluffy Singler

However, does playing for the Canadian Football League count as a Pro Athlete, with all the weight and meaning that carries? He does have a new Camaro. Hmmm . . . .

Fluffy Singler
Fluffy Singler

I was a mentor-tutor while Simoni was in the program. He wasn't one of my students, but I recognize the name. Shame on you, Simoni!

derricktsweet
derricktsweet

embarrassing this guy was a gopher.  People always show their true colors when they are not FORCED to do the right thing. 



goodgod
goodgod

always get a fucking police report 

Curtis Meyer
Curtis Meyer

The lord giveth, and the lord taketh...from people you screw over.

Ran Dazzle
Ran Dazzle

a sports player in MN that's a douche? shocking

facebook25
facebook25

Isn't driving without insurance illegal?

If she didn't file a complaint with the police before he left the country, that really sucks - may have prevented him from crossing the border.  Canada's really picky about letting criminals in.

Loserx1000
Loserx1000

Never trust what someone who drives a camero says....

TacoLover
TacoLover

Minneapolis Police won't come out for an accident where there are no injuries.

Loserx1000
Loserx1000

True comment. When are we going to value doctors and scientists they way do losers like this thug....

Loserx1000
Loserx1000

Report this to his Canadian team. Deportation.

Loserx1000
Loserx1000

And not so nice looking either. I would fix my grill before my car. Lol.

Driver
Driver

@TacoLover I was in an accident on 94 in Mpls during a snow storm and they wouldn't come for me either.  Too many accidents, said it would be over 2 hours and to get off the road if the car was drivable.  I was not offered a report ID>

goodgod
goodgod

@TacoLover They came out both times I was in an accident w/no injuries. 

DavidFoureyes
DavidFoureyes topcommenter

@TacoLover That is patently false. At the very least, they will give you a report ID over the phone and the cops will come interview both parties afterward.


That said, this guy is a first-rate turd. His god must be a real piece of shit!

StPaulieGirl
StPaulieGirl

That's not true.  I had an accident less than a year ago in Minneapolis, and I called the cops to come take a report since the dude blew through a light and hit me. 

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