Wednesday, November 21, 2001

Warren, two other Browns arrested

The Associated Press

        CLEVELAND — Three Browns players, including top draft pick Gerard Warren, were arrested and charged with felonies on Tuesday following incidents just hours apart in Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

        Warren was arrested on a charge of carrying an unlicensed firearm — a felony in Pennsylvania — following his arrest outside a nightclub in Pittsburgh.

        Fullback Mike Sellers was charged with felony cocaine possession, and cornerback Lamar Chapman with felony drug abuse after the pair were pulled over in a traffic stop late Monday night.

        The arrests came less than 48 hours after the Browns had beaten the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens to improve to 5-4 and move back into the AFC playoff race.

        According to a filing in Cleveland courts, the charge against Sellers is “based upon presumption.” A court clerk said that lab results were still pending.

        A dollar bill containing a white powder suspected of being cocaine was found in a patrol car after Sellers and Chapman were taken to the police station, the police report said.

        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 for suspected drug use in Warren's Chevy Suburban parked outside the nightclub at 2:35 a.m. when they spotted an empty gun holster.

        According to the police report, a passenger in Warren's SUV told officers he had a .45 Glock handgun locked inside a console in the vehicle. After towing and searching the vehicle, police found the gun, which belonged to Warren.

        Warren said his brother, Corey, a Florida policeman, had bought the gun for him and he produced documents showing ownership. However, Warren said he had not yet obtained a license to carry it.

        Browns tight end O.J. Santiago told police he was a passenger in Warren's SUV before entering the club. There were also three unidentified female passengers in the vehicle.

        Sellers and Chapman are also facing a list of misdemeanor charges, including using a vehicle to solicit drugs, drug abuse of marijuana and numerous traffic violations.

        They were scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

        Sellers was allegedly speeding and swerving in his pickup truck when police pulled him over Monday night. Officers found two bags of marijuana in the glove box and a “folded” dollar bill containing a white powder was found on the backseat of a patrol car.

        Browns president Carmen Policy said the club was investigating the arrests.

        NFL spokesman Greg Aiello had no comment.

        Police said in addition to the marijuana in Sellers' glove compartment, “three burnt marijuana blunt cigars” were in the ashtray.

        Sellers refused to submit to a urine test at the jail, police said.

        Sellers' agent, Kenneth Austin, said he his doubts about 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 Washington. 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.


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