NEW ORLEANS — The Times-Picayune / New Orleans Advocate contributed to this report
There is an arrest warrant out for Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
New Orleans Police Department officials confirmed Thursday the former LSU star is wanted for misdemeanor simple battery.
The charge stems from an incident in the Tiger locker room after their National Championship victory in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Monday night.
A sworn New Orleans police statement filed in Criminal District Court details how the stadium security lieutenant had been ordered to enforce the Superdome’s no-smoking policy when he confronted some LSU players in their locker room and asked them to extinguish their cigars.
The security officer told New Orleans police that one unspecified team member was “argumentative” at first but ultimately complied with the request. Right as that happened, the officer felt his buttocks get struck by the open hand of someone from behind.
According to police, the lieutenant momentarily “wanted to retaliate by punching the offender” – later identified as Beckham – but didn’t. He also considered arresting Beckham but decided against it “due to the jovial atmosphere of the locker room.”
The sworn statement suggests the officer later realized who had slapped his buttocks when a cellphone video of the encounter had gone viral online.
After calling police and undergoing an interview, the officer indicated that he wanted to press charges.
Though the police statement doesn’t name any of the players with whom the lieutenant spoke, the clip shows an officer admonishing LSU right guard Damien Lewis before the slap.
A video on Twitter shows Beckham, 27, confronting and allegedly spanking a police officer during the Tigers’ celebrations.
A spokesman for the Superdome said, “We are aware of the security guard video, at this point we have no comment.”
The Browns organization issued a statement Thursday regarding the warrant, saying:
“We are aware of the incident and have been in touch with Odell and his representatives on the matter. They are cooperating with the proper authorities to appropriately address the situation.”
News of the warrant comes as LSU is also investigating Beckham for allegedly handing out cash to Tigers players after the game, which could be in violation of NCAA rules.
Beckham was born in Baton Rouge and attended high school at Isidore Newman in New Orleans. He was a part of the Tigers’ SEC-winning 2011 team and was named First-team all conference his senior year. He was drafted to the New York Giants 12th overall in the 2014 NFL Draft, where his first-year performance earned him Offensive Rookie of the Year.
He was traded to the Cleveland Browns in 2019.
In Louisiana, a simple battery conviction can result in a $1,000 fine or up to six months in prison.
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