LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Heisman Trophy runner-up Darren
McFadden was handcuffed by police and then released without charges
after being involved in a "pretty rowdy scene" at a piano bar
Arkansas' All-American running back and at least four others
were at the downtown bar when a disturbance broke out shortly after
midnight, police Lt. Terry Hastings said. A bouncer was hit in the
face as he was trying to get the group to leave, Hastings said. A
police report did not specify who hit the bouncer.
"There was a whole bunch of people there," Hastings said.
"They were inside and it spilled out into the street."
Outside, McFadden was handcuffed by a police officer "because
he was agitated and was provoking aggressive behavior inciting the
incident," according to the police report.
"We handcuffed him for a few minutes because he was rowdy,"
McFadden, who was the only person handcuffed, was released after
he calmed down. Hastings said it was routine procedure to handcuff
a person to gain control of a situation.
On Thursday night before an appearance at the Little Rock
Touchdown Club, where he was to be honored with an award, McFadden
declined comment, through a university spokesman.
McFadden's mother, Mini Muhammad, said her son was trying to
protect his younger brother, Daryl.
"He wasn't the one that was fighting. It was his little brother
-- someone had jumped on him," Muhammad said. "He was agitated
because his brother had a bloody nose."
"Darren was not fighting -- please make that be known," she
Hastings said bar employee Brant Hankins was advised that he
could pursue charges against the person who hit him. The police
report classified the incident as misdemeanor battery.
In the summer of 2006 in a fight outside another Little Rock
club, McFadden severely injured his toe, but recovered in time to
play in the Razorbacks' season opener.
McFadden, who also finished second in the 2006 Heisman voting,
holds Arkansas' career and single-season rushing records. The
junior has yet to decide whether he will forgo his senior year and
enter the NFL draft.
The disturbance will be investigated by state Alcoholic Beverage
Control agents once the ABC office receives the police report, said
agency director Carl Kirkland.
Ernie Biggs is a private club that
serves alcohol but not food. State law does not allow a private
club to admit anyone under 21 if the business does not serve food.
The Little Rock bar also allows smoking, and state law allows
smoking in only certain establishments, but does not allow those
businesses to admit anyone under 21.
Ed Barham, a spokesman for the state Health Department, which
enforces the smoking ban, said the agency will look into the
disturbance after hearing about it through the media. He said if it
appears the club violated the law, the agency will refer the matter
to the state Board of Health.
There was no response to a message left on an answering machine
at the club Thursday afternoon.
Hankins said Thursday he had no comment on the incident or on