The party's over.
LSU cornerback and NFL prospect Tharold Simon's family had planned on celebrating Simon's anticipated selection in the 2013 NFL Draft this weekend. They had even asked mayor Rusty Moody to proclaim Friday as "Tharold Simon Day" in Simon's hometown of Eunice, La.
|Tharold Simon/Eunice Police Department|
But after Simon's arrest Thursday night on suspicion of intimidating a police officer, the party has been cancelled.
Simon, who is expected to be taken sometime during the NFL draft, was allegedly blocking a residential street with his car when an officer asked him to move his vehicle shortly before midnight on Thursday.
Before leaving, Simon reportedly told the officer "I own Eunice" and "I'm gonna buy these projects and you are gonna be mine," before finally moving his vehicle.
According to KATC, the officer also noted in the report that Simon turned his radio "all the way up" and spun his wheels as he "backed the vehicle in an aggressive manner." The report also says Simon told the officer that "the mayor was on (his) side" and that the officer would be fired if he wrote a ticket. Simon was charged with public intimidation, resisting an officer, obstructing a passageway and unnecessary noise violation. He was released on $11,000 bond.
"I have obtained a written statement from almost 20 witnesses, all of whom corroborated Tharold's version of the incident, in which he did absolutely nothing wrong and nothing illegal," Schaffer said. "I'm 100 percent confident that there will be no charges filed and Tharold will be completely exonerated. I'm looking into the filing of a civil lawsuit against the officer and the Eunice Police Department. Tharold is an outstanding young man, and it's appalling to me that an officer would act this way, particularly at this time."
Eunice Police Chief Ronald Dies told NFL.com that Simon was not intoxicated and alcohol or drugs did not play a part in Simon's arrest.
"He didn't struggle or fight with the officers," Dies said in The Eunice News. "He just refused to turn around and put his hands behind his back. Once we got him to the jail, he was very cooperative. He said that he was just showing off in front of his friends and he said that he guessed that he messed up. And he did."
Dies said Simon did "nothing major" and couldn't understand why the media was making such a big deal about a small-town arrest.
"This is a small town and we treat everybody the same," Dies told NFL.com. "We have a job to do and we did it. The judge will make the final decision."
Moody said Simon is well-known in Eunice -- population 10,398 according to the mayor -- as a successful high school and college football player and warned against people rushing to judgement.
"In the United States, our justice system says everyone is innocent until proven guilty," Moody told NFL.com. "People tend to make mistakes and you've only heard one side of the story."
UPDATE: The Seattle Seahawks took Simon in the fifth round of the NFL draft on Saturday, with the 138th overall pick.