The Cincinnati Bengals were once notorious for their players' penchant for getting in trouble with the law. That issue reared its ugly head once again Monday night when fullback Orson Charles was arrested.
According to Paul Dehner Jr. of Cincinnati.com, the University of Georgia product was arrested in Madison County, Ky. and charged with first degree wanton endangerment. Charles was reportedly booked at 9:56 p.m. ET on Monday night, and he is currently awaiting arraignment.
Per Coley Harvey of ESPN.com, Charles' arrest may have been in relation to a road rage situation:
Just filed to ESPN. Orson Charles' arrest last night stems from what police believe was a road-rage incident involving a gun. #Bengals— Coley Harvey (@ColeyHarvey) April 1, 2014
Harvey later followed with additional details surrounding the arrest:
According to a copy of the incident report obtained Tuesday morning by ESPN.com, Charles was stopped by Richmond police on Interstate 75 after a complaint was called in by another driver. The other driver indicated to police that Charles brandished a firearm in his direction several times while driving down the highway sometime just before 8 p.m. Monday night. At some point, Charles allegedly cut off the other driver. When police arrived and did a search of Charles' car, a semiautomatic Smith and Wesson handgun was found in a purse.
The report said Charles declined to make a statement to police before his arrest. The Bengals issued a statement, saying they wouldn't comment on 'legal matters that are unresolved."
When contacted by ESPN.com on Tuesday morning, officials at the detention center said Charles had not yet been released. His bond has been set at $5,000.
Although the exact details surrounding the arrest remain unclear, Dehner explained the nature of the charges against Charles:
Wanton endangerment is essentially choosing to engage in conduct which creates a substantial danger/physical injury to another.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) April 1, 2014
Enquirer Sports posted an image of Charles' mugshot on Twitter:
Charles is set to enter his third NFL season in 2014 as he continues to transition to his new role. Charles entered the league as a tight end, but with Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert on the roster, head coach Marvin Lewis moved him to the backfield.
His career statistics are modest at nine catches for 109 yards, but the former fourth-round pick has a great deal of natural athletic ability.
Will Orson Charles play for the Bengals in 2014?
Even so, Charles' status with the team is very much in question in the wake of his arrest. The Bengals organization has worked hard to repair its image in recent years, so it will certainly take this situation quite seriously.
Charles may be talented, but he isn't a key part of the team by any means. With that in mind, the Bengals could ultimately decide that he isn't worth the headache.
If the incident was as significant as Harvey suggests, then Charles' NFL career is very much in jeopardy. He may get a second chance with the Bengals or another team, but he'll be walking on eggshells for the remainder of his NFL tenure.
Judgment shouldn't be passed until more details emerge, but the early returns don't bode well for Charles moving forward.
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