Updates from Tuesday, Jan. 21
Michael Casagrande of AL.com reports that there may be more to this story than just the news release from the Tuscaloosa Police Department:
Multiple eyewitnesses, however, have told AL.com the news release was filled with inaccuracies or fabrications. One witness told AL.com an unidentified officer pointed a gun at Brown and others during the encounter.
Casagrande spoke with Jaison Brown, a 23-year-old student, and Campus Way resident Richard Sharper, who both witnessed the altercation:
They say Brown and a few other guests turned to leave immediately after officers pulled out the pepper spray. Brown walked approximately 30-40 yards to his car with an officer following behind, they said. The officer walked beside Brown and pepper sprayed Brown in the face as the athlete was complying with the command to leave, said Davis who only briefly met Brown before Saturday night..
"The police officer kept heckling him in his ear walking behind him," said Sharper, a 19-year-old Alabama student from Tuscaloosa.
Davis and Sharper said they never saw Brown say anything or make any threatening move to provoke the pepper spray.
Brown immediately fell to the ground in a fetal position, Davis said, as the officer pulled his gun. The crowd, which had been relatively calm to that point, was more tense after the pepper spray was used and when the gun came out, Davis said.
Sharper said everyone moved away fast when they saw the gun.
Just a couple of weeks after committing to Alabama, cornerback prospect Tony Brown was arrested for failure to obey and resisting arrest.
According to Aaron Suttles from TideSports.com, Brown was arrested the night of Jan. 18, with bail set at $1,500. Brown had just enrolled with the school on Jan. 8, according to ESPN's Gerry Hamilton.
The Tuscaloosa Police Department released a statement on the incident according to Alex Scarborough of ESPN.com:
A man, Chavis Taylor, was arrested and as officers walked Taylor to a patrol unit a large crowd gathered around the officers, the statement said.
"Officers told the crowd multiple times to disperse. Officers warned one individual [Tony Brown] multiple times to back up and leave the parking lot. The individual would walk a few steps away and then would walk right back towards officers. The officers warned the individual that if he did not leave the parking lot he would be arrested. The individual yelled threatening profanity at the officer and stepped toward the officers again. At the time the officer grabbed the suspect to take him into custody. The suspect pulled away resisting officers. Officers used pepper spray on the suspect and forced him to the ground and took him into custody. Both suspects were transported to the Tuscaloosa County Jail."
Brown, a native of Beaumont, Texas, was a 5-star recruit and the No. 9 overall player in the 2014 recruiting class, according to 247Sports.com's composite rankings. He was the second-best cornerback on that list, just behind Adoree' Jackson, who has yet to choose a school.
While being recruited, Brown chose Alabama over other top-tier programs in LSU and Texas, making his announcement during the Under Armour All-America game. The Crimson Tide brought in Brown with the intention to help shore up their secondary, which is losing players such as Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Deion Belue.
The Crimson Tide have arguably the best recruiting class for 2014. According to 247Sports' composite rankings, Alabama has brought in four 5-star, 14 4-star and six 3-star recruits. Some of the biggest names in the recruiting class include offensive tackle Cameron Robinson, defensive end Da'Shawn Hand, athlete Bo Scarbrough and defensive tackle Jarran Reed.
Alabama had the fourth-best defense in the nation this past season, allowing 13.9 points per game, but it struggled as the season wound down, allowing 79 total points in the last two games against Auburn and Oklahoma. Both games resulted in losses.
With the arrest, all eyes will be on Brown to see whether head coach Nick Saban will let him play with the rest of the team in 2014.
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