One of the nation's top tight end prospects has run afoul of the law just three weeks before the 2016 NFL Draft.
Western Kentucky's Tyler Higbee was arrested and charged Sunday morning with second-degree assault, second-degree fleeing or evading police, and public intoxication. The charges resulted from an altercation outside a Bowling Green bar, Tidball's, that left the alleged victim, Nawaf Alsaleh, with a concussion and a brain hemorrhage, according to a police report obtained by the Bowling Green Daily News.
Higbee was booked at 2:41 a.m., held on a bond of $10,000, and released at 3:15 p.m. Sunday. NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock ranks Higbee as the fifth-best tight end prospect available in the draft.
Higbee and two others fled on foot from a police officer who gave chase through a parking lot before the officer made contact, according to the report. Higbee told police that he and his girlfriend had been at a different establishment, Dublin's, where they were repeatedly bothered by an "individual of Middle Eastern descent," who then followed the two to Tidball's, according to the report. While at the jail, Higbee acknowledged hitting Alsaleh once, according to the police report.
"This is a very unfortunate situation that we hope to resolve promptly," Higbee's attorney, Brian Lowder said in a statement. "We are currently gathering facts but this incident appears to have been precipitated by the aggressive actions of the alleged victim towards both Mr. Higbee and his girlfriend. We will have additional comment as the situation develops."
When healthy, Higbee was a primary target for Hilltoppers star quarterback Brandon Doughty last year, catching 38 passes for 563 yards and eight touchdowns despite a knee injury that cost him four regular-season games. He injured the knee again during the Conference USA title game, forcing him to miss WKU's Miami Beach Bowl win over South Florida. Higbee went through medical examinations and interviews at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, but did not participate in drills.
Higbee visited the Denver Broncos the week of WKU's pro day and had scheduled workouts with the New Orleans Saints and Baltimore Ravens, according to the report. Between now and the draft, whatever contact he has with NFL clubs will no doubt include some tough questions about the details of his arrest.