Warren, 2 Other Browns Arrested In Separate Cases
By TOM WITHERS, AP Sports Writer
CLEVELAND (AP) - Browns top draft pick Gerard Warren was one of three Cleveland players arrested and charged Tuesday in separate cases in two cities.
Warren, the No. 3 overall pick in this year's NFL draft, was arrested in Pittsburgh for carrying an unlicensed firearm, which is a felony in Pennsylvania.
Incredibly, he wasn't the only Browns player to get into trouble.
Fullback Mike Sellers was charged Tuesday with felony drug possession after being arrested along with teammate Lamar Chapman following a Monday night traffic stop in Cleveland.
Warren, a rookie defensive tackle, who earlier this season was fined $35,000 by the NFL for a vicious hit on Jacksonville quarterback Mark Brunell, was arraigned Tuesday and released after posting bond.
Warren is due in court on Nov. 30.
Police were questioning a passenger in Warren's Chevy Suburban outside a Pittsburgh nightclub at 2:35 a.m. when they spotted an empty gun holster on the floor.
According to the police report, a passenger told officers there was a .45 Glock handgun locked in a console in the vehicle. After towing and searching the vehicle, police found the gun.
Warren said his brother, Corey, a Florida policeman, had bought him the gun. Police said Warren was able to produce documents showing that he owned the gun but he had not yet obtained a license to carry it.
The Browns, who earlier in the day released a statement on the arrests of Sellers and Chapman, would not make specific comments on Warren's arrest.
"We are aware that some charge is pending against Gerard," team spokesman Todd Stewart said. "But we will have no further comment until tomorrow."
Sellers and Chapman are also facing a misdemeanor charge of using a vehicle to solicit drugs, said George Yarbrough, a Cleveland court spokesman.
Chapman was not charged with the felony, but Yarbrough said other charges are possible against both players.
Sellers, who is in his first season with the Browns, is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday morning.
Sellers was speeding and swerving in his pickup truck when police pulled him over Wednesday night. Officers found two bags of marijuana in the glove box and a dollar bill containing a white powder suspected of being cocaine was found in a patrol car after the players were taken to the police station, the police report said.
Browns president Carmen Policy said the club was investigating the arrests.
"Our team policy dictates that we handle all incidents involving our players within the organization on an individual basis," Policy said. "We are in communication with the National Football League and fully support all league guidelines and policies."
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello had no comment.
Sellers' truck and another vehicle were pulled over at 10:35 p.m. Monday on the city's west side, according to police reports. Officers said they smelled marijuana and noticed "several clumps" of the substance on the driver's floor of Sellers' truck.
Chapman, who was in the passenger's seat, was seen putting what later was determined to be a marijuana cigarette into a soda can, police said.
Police said in addition to the marijuana in Sellers' glove compartment, "three burnt marijuana blunt cigars" were in the ashtray of the truck.
After the players were taken to the police station, an officer found the folded-up dollar bill containing the white powder.
Sellers refused to submit to a urine test at the jail, police said.
Sellers' agent, Kenneth Austin, said he spoke with his client on Tuesday morning, and Sellers was apologetic and remorseful. Also, Austin has problems with the police report.
"It just doesn't add up," Austin said. "There is a lot of speculation, especially with the cocaine. The handcuffs were so tight, Mike has bruises on his wrists. His hands were behind his back. How could he reach his front pocket and pull out a dollar bill?"
Sellers signed as a free agent with Cleveland in March after spending three seasons with the Washington Redskins. He was expected to play a more prominent role in the Browns' offense but has caught just seven passes for 73 yards this season.
Chapman, a fifth-round draft pick last year, is out for the season after being placed on injured reserve.
If convicted, the players will be subject to the NFL's mandatory drug-and-alcohol program. First-time offenders are tested randomly.
The arrests of Sellers and Chapman follow drug-related issues involving two other Browns players, one of whom is no longer with the team.
In Tuesday's Plain Dealer, running back Ben Gay revealed a year ago he was dealing drugs after dropping out of a junior college in Kansas. On Monday, Jeremiah Pharms, a 2001 draft pick who was released from the Browns, entered a modified guilty plea in Seattle on charges he robbed a marijuana dealer last year.
(Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)