UPDATED 1/20, 1:35 p.m ET: Malik McDowell’s high school football coach told cleveland.com that his former player “doesn’t remember nothing” about the arrest.
Reggie Wynns, who coached McDowell at Michigan’s Southfield High School said he had an “emotional” conversation with McDowell after his arrest.
“I don’t know if someone laced him or what,” Wynns said. “I don’t know. That’s not him at all. All I’m hoping is that when they test him, they figure out that he had been drugged.”
Wynns said he hopes someone gets to the bottom of what happened, because the incident doesn’t reflect the man he knows. “What he did is not normal for sure,” Wynns added. “Just think about it. How in the hell do you go from being a great citizen in Cleveland and then go down Monday and train and then [this happens].”
See original story below.
In it, multiple Florida police can be seen struggling to contain him while cuffing his ankles and wrists. At one point, it appears as though one of the officers kicks McDowell. He was eventually placed on a stretcher and taken into custody.
Authorities said that they received a report of a naked man in close proximity to a school, and when a deputy arrived at the scene, McDowell allegedly charged their way “at full speed.” The deputy said they briefly fought, before McDowell fled the scene. He was later placed in handcuffs following the use of a taser.
McDowell was arrested by the Broward Sheriff’s Office and charged with exposing himself in public, resisting arrest with violence, and battery on a law enforcement officer, the Sun-Sentinel reports. McDowell’s defense attorney Adam Swickle said that “somebody may have slipped him something or given him something he was unaware of.” The Browns have yet to announce any action taken against McDowell, but an investigation is ongoing.
“We are aware of the very concerning incident and arrest involving Malik McDowell and are in the process of gathering more information,” said the Cleveland Browns in a statement. “We understand the severity of this matter and our thoughts are for the well-being of all involved. We will have no further comment at this time.”
McDowell was sentenced to 11 months in prison after he got into a fight with a police officer at a gas station in 2019. The video of that incident shows that McDowell, who refused to hand over his license to the officer, got tased after multiple warnings. Following his release, he signed with the Browns in May, 2021.