The Detroit Lions' offseason of arrests continued this weekend as Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press confirmed that cornerback Aaron Berry was arrested and charged in Harrisburg, Pa., on Saturday morning on three counts of simple assault.
Harrisburg Police Cpl. Lydell Muldrow told the Free Press that Berry brandished a gun at three people after the driver of his rental vehicle nearly backed into them as they tried to cross the street.
âThey jumped out of the street, the back window came down and a person that they described as Aaron Berry pointed a handgun with a laser sight at them and then pulled off,â Muldrow told the Free Press. âWe located the weapon. The weapon was in close proximity to him if not on him â- that I canât confirm whether he actually had it on his person â- but it was in the vehicle and it was registered to him. It was his weapon and it was the only weapon in the vehicle described by the independent witnesses who did not know who he was or anything about him.â
|Detroit Lions CB Aaron Berry (right) was arrested on three counts of simple assault Saturday. (Dennis Wierzbicki/US Presswire)|
Berry also was arrested in Harrisburg less than one month ago on suspicion of DUI. Berry was scheduled to enter a diversionary program that could have resulted in having the DUI charges expunged from his record. As Birkett notes, this weekend's arrest jeopardizes that deal.
Berry's latest charges pull him even with teammates Mikel Leshoure and Nick Fairley with two arrests each this offseason. Leshoure wrapped up his legal proceedings for his two marijuana-related arrests and was suspended two games and fined two additional game checks. Thus far, Fairley and Berry haven't been disciplined by the NFL. The collective bargaining agreement stipulates that should another player be suspended without pay, the Lions will send a portion of the lost money to the NFL, according to NFL Network's Albert Breer.
Signed by the Lions as an undrafted free agent out of Pittsburgh in 2010, Berry made the team's 53-man roster as a rookie and was a Week 1 starter, totaling three tackles and an interception in his NFL debut. However, Berry was injured in that game and placed on season-ending injured reserve the following week.
In 2011, Berry started three of 11 games, playing in nearly 36 percent of the Lions' defensive snaps and recording 30 tackles and 11 passes defensed. With Eric Wright moving on in free agency, Berry was penciled in as a starter opposite Chris Houston this season.
Multiple arrests and the NFL discipline that will come with it could keep Berry from making that next step in his career, particularly with the Lions. Weary of multiple arrests this offseason, the Lions could step in and discipline Berry themselves, measures that could include placing him on waivers to send an "enough is enough" message to the rest of the team.
UPDATE: The Lions released a statement Sunday morning regarding Berry's arrest.
"We are extremely disappointed by the reports involving Aaron Berry," the team's statement read, via the Lions' official website. "We are currently gathering more information and will have further comment when appropriate."
Corky Goldstein, Berry's lawyer, told The Associated Press: "I would just hope that everybody just holds their judgment on this matter. There's a lot more to this situation. ... I know Aaron is very upset over this whole situation. Let's give the opportunity for all the facts to come out."