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Browns wide receiver Davone Bess arrested this morning, charged with assaulting officer at airport

By Nate Ulrich Published: January 17, 2014
DBess
(Courtesy of Broward County Sheriff's Office)

Casting a larger shadow of doubt on his future with the Browns, wide receiver Davone Bess was arrested this morning at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida and charged with assaulting an officer, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, according to a police report obtained by the Beacon Journal.

Records show Bess was booked into the Broward County Jail after the arrest was made at 6:19 a.m. today. He posted $100 bond at 10:23 a.m. and was released from custody, a public information officer at the Broward County Sheriff's Office said. A court date has yet to be scheduled.

A Browns spokesman said the team was aware of the situation and working to gather more details.

Bess left the Browns last month to deal with a family issue and missed the final two games of the 2013 season. He has since displayed troubling behavior via social media and his recent run-in with the law. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Browns eventually cut ties with him as a result.

In the arrest report, Broward Sheriff’s deputy Thomas O’Brien stated he was working a TSA detail at the airport when several passengers notified him Bess was in the concourse “acting irrationally, dancing, singing with his pants repeatedly falling down.”

O’Brien stated he asked Bess if he was all right but received no response. Bess then grabbed a cup of hot coffee not belonging to him and squeezed the cup until it broke and the liquid went all over O’Brien’s uniform, according to the statement.

Bess, 28, then took a fighting stance several feet away from O’Brien, and O’Brien responded by striking Bess in the leg with a baton, which O’Brien stated had “no effect.” Bess then removed his shirt and got into a fighting stance again, ignoring O’Brien’s orders to get on the ground, according to the statement. Backup units arrived shortly after, and Bess complied and was taken into custody.

“Bess appeared to be under the influence of an unknown narcotic due to his irrational behavior,” O’Brien concluded in the report. “He appeared to be looking through me when I was talking to him.”

The arrest came on the heels of Bess making headlines Thursday morning for a photograph on his official Twitter account showing what appeared to be a cigar on a table beside marijuana. A separate photo posted minutes later Thursday showed Bess posing with a woman in a garage with a cigarette or cigarillo in his mouth.

“The team is aware of the photos and looking further into the situation, and will deal with the matter internally,” a Browns spokesman said Thursday. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league had no comment.

On Dec. 20, the day after Bess left the team, a photo posted on his Instagram account showed him sitting outdoors on a deck next to a picture of reggae icon Bob Marley and lighting a cigarette or cigarillo with a Rasta flag draped around his shoulders and neck.

The next day, the Browns placed Bess on the reserve/non-football illness list, ending his season with two games left. Ex-Browns coach Rob Chudzinski explained Bess had been dealing with a family issue but declined further comment.

"I have reached out to him," Chudzinski said Dec. 23 during a news conference. "Davone, he’s going through a family, personal matter, a personal issue. We’re going to give him all of the support we can through this. Beyond that, I’m not going to go into any detail. That’s up to Davone to talk about."

In April, the Browns traded fourth- and fifth-round draft picks to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for Bess and fourth- and seventh-round selections. The Browns then signed him to a three-year, $11.5 million contract extension through 2016, which includes $5.75 million guaranteed. He’s scheduled to make $3.067 million in 2014.

Bess compiled more than 50 catches in each of his first five NFL seasons, but he never came close to meeting expectations in his first year with the Browns. He had 42 receptions for 362 yards and two touchdowns. According to ProFootballFocus.com, he finished second in the NFL with 14 dropped passes. He also muffed a crucial punt Oct. 27 in the fourth quarter of the Browns’ 23-17 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

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