COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Maurice Clarett was charged with carrying
a concealed weapon after a highway chase early Wednesday that ended
with police using Mace on the former Ohio State running back and
finding four loaded guns in his sport utility vehicle.
Officers used Mace to subdue Clarett after a stun gun was
ineffective because the former Fiesta Bowl star was wearing a
bullet-resistant vest, Sgt. Michael Woods said.
"It took several officers to get him handcuffed," Woods said.
"Even after he was placed in the paddy wagon, he was still kicking
at the doors and being a problem for the officers."
The complaint police filed when they charged him with carrying a
concealed weapon without permit said he had a 9 mm handgun under
his legs in the driver's seat of an SUV.
Police also charged him with weaving in and out of lanes on a
road before he entered the highway. More charges are possible,
The arrest came near the home of a witness set to testify
against Clarett next week in the robbery case, Franklin County
Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said.
Clarett did not speak to police who tried to interview him at
the station before he was moved to the Franklin County Jail.
Wearing tan jail-issue clothes, he talked on the telephone in
the booking area, separated from reporters by a window. He was to
be held at the jail at least until an arraignment Thursday morning -- which is expected to take place between 8 and 11 a.m. ET --
unless his attorneys work out an agreement for his release, police
Clarett made an illegal U-turn on the city's east side and
failed to stop when officers, in a cruiser with lights flashing,
tried to pull him over, Woods said.
Police said they pursued Clarett onto the eastbound lanes of
Interstate 70, one of the city's main freeways, when he darted
across the median and began heading west. Clarett drove over a
spike strip that was placed on the highway, flattening the driver's
side tires of the SUV, Woods said. A police helicopter in the area
helped track the vehicle.
Clarett exited the highway and pulled into a restaurant parking
lot about 10 minutes after police say they saw him make the U-turn.
Officers removed him from the SUV after he failed to obey numerous
orders to exit the vehicle, Woods said.
After Clarett was placed in a police van, officers discovered a
loaded assault rifle on the passenger seat and three handguns in
the front of the car, including one in a holster in a backpack on
the passenger-side floor.
"We don't have any idea why he had them or what, if anything,
he was going to do with them," Woods said. Police don't know where
Clarett got the guns or where he was headed or coming from in the
SUV. Federal authorities plan to trace the guns' ownership.
A half-full bottle of vodka was found in the SUV, but no breath
test was administered because police had no indication that Clarett
was intoxicated, Woods said. Police also found a compact disc of
children's songs recorded by Ohio prison inmates that the state
distributed last month to prisoners and their families.
The 22-year-old Clarett is currently awaiting trial on two
counts of aggravated robbery, four counts of robbery and one count
of carrying a concealed weapon in a separate case. Assistant Franklin County Prosecutor Tim Mitchell asked a judge
Wednesday to keep Clarett in jail and revoke his bond on the
robbery charges, given that Clarett was arrested close to the home
of Tywona Douglas, one of the people who identified him in the
alley behind the bar.
The bond was not revoked by the judge, instead raised to $1.1 million. If Clarett can post it, he must stay in Franklin County (the county Columbus is in), provide an address and adhere to a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. Authorities said
he was identified by witnesses as the person who flashed a gun and
robbed two people of a cell phone in an alley behind the Opium
Lounge in Columbus in the early hours of Jan. 1.
Clarett's attorney, Nick Mango, said it was "probably
unlikely" that Clarett would be able to post the higher bond,
meaning he would stay in jail for the duration of his trial, which
The home address Clarett gave police was his mother's house in
Youngstown. A message seeking comment was left at the home.
Clarett scored the winning touchdown in the second overtime of
the Fiesta Bowl against Miami to lead Ohio State to the 2002
national championship, the school's first since 1968. But that was
the last game the freshman played for Ohio State.
He sat out the 2003 season after being charged with misdemeanor
falsification on a police report, then dropped out of school. He
sued to be included in the 2004 NFL draft and lost in court.
A surprise third-round pick in the 2005 draft, he was cut by the
Denver Broncos during the preseason.
Clarett plans to play for the Mahoning Valley Hitmen, one of
five teams in the Eastern Indoor Football League. The team, based
in Clarett's hometown of Youngstown, is to begin play in January.
Hitmen coach and owner Jim Terry said that there was no
indication that anything was wrong when he spoke with Clarett by
cell phone early Wednesday morning about the team's upcoming
tryouts. The call was disconnected around 1 a.m. and Terry missed
Clarett's second call about an hour and a half later, which would
have been near the time when police say they saw Clarett make a
The arrest will not affect Clarett's status with the team, Terry
"We gave him a chance and now we'll wait to see what happens,"
he said. "I've seen far worse situations than this."
Clarett has not signed a contract with the team yet, pending a
fire marshal's inspection of the team's home field. Clarett's
proposed contract includes attendance incentives which cannot be
finalized until the fire marshal determines the capacity of the
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.