DENVER -- It was just a date gone awry. At least that's Sebastian Janikowski's version of another sordid off-field story involving the Raiders kicker.
Janikowski told Oakland team officials Monday that he was simply dining with his girlfriend Saturday night when he was arrested for his alleged involvement in an alcohol-fueled bar fight.
The team allowed Janikowski to play Monday night against the Denver Broncos after Janikowski told team officials his side of the story.
"We got his story, what he feels occurred," Raiders senior assistant Bruce Allen told the San Francisco Chronicle, "and we felt it would have been inappropriate to come to a judgment without giving him the opportunity to play.
"From what he told me, I feel he can be absolved from all of this."
Janikowski, 25, was arrested Saturday night in Walnut Creek, Calif., on suspicion of misdemeanor assault, misdemeanor vandalism and being drunk in public.
Jimmy Tang, owner of Slates Supper Club, where the incident allegedly took place, told the Chronicle that he saw what happened and was surprised that Janikowski was arrested.
According to Tang, Janikowski wrestled briefly with a restaurant security guard after being taunted by two men. Tang also told the newspaper that Janikowski accidentally broke off a side mirror of a car belonging to one of the two men during the scuffle.
"From the stories that I've been hearing, you never hear of one guy picking a fight with three [guys]," Allen said. "That doesn't make a lot of sense, all right?"
Allen would not comment specifically on any team-related discipline for Janikowski that may be forthcoming.
"We'll deal with it in the appropriate manner once we have all the facts," Allen told the Chronicle. "Today we don't have them; I don't know if we're going to have them next week. [Janikowski] is allowed due process, because he does feel that he's innocent.
"[If he was intoxicated], that would absolutely concern me ... We understand that any one of our players, not just Sebastian, has a duty in the community as far as how they're going to behave. And we've explained to everyone, as every player in the league knows -- it's not just the Raiders -- that they're going to be the target of extra scrutiny.''
Outside of possible team sanctions, Janikowski could face disciplinary action from the NFL under its personal conduct and/or substance abuse policies. A league source told the Chronicle that any league action would be dependent upon charges being filed, not on his arrest.
The incident is one of several of Janikowski's scrapes with the law, dating back to his college days at Florida State University.
The stocky kicker, an All-America kicker as a Seminole, was charged with drunken driving in October 2002, when tests showed he had a 0.20 blood alcohol level -- more than twice the legal limit in California.
Janikowski pleaded guilty last Dec. 24 to a misdemeanor charge of drunken driving, drawing a $1,292 fine and three years' probation.
In 2001, Janikowski was acquitted on charges of possession of the "date rape drug" GHB and evidence tampering. He was facing up to five years in prison and possible deportation to his native Poland if found guilty.
In 2000, Janikowski was acquitted on charges of trying to bribe a Tallahassee, Fla., police officer to release his roommate from custody after a bar argument with a bouncer.