Sheldon Richardson charged with resisting arrest

Less than two weeks after the league announced a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, Jets defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson was charged with resisting arrest and various traffic violations, but escaped child endangerment charges, in O'Fallon, Mo.

The 24-year-old Pro Bowler was clocked at speeds of 122, 135 and 143 miles per hour in a 2014 Bentley Silver Spur on July 14, according to a statement of probable cause issued by the department and obtained by NFL Media. Charges were made official on Thursday. With a 12-year-old in the back seat of the car, Richardson turned off the vehicle's headlights in an effort to evade the police.

The statement said Richardson at one point lost control of the vehicle and slid the rear of the car into oncoming traffic.

St. Charles (Missouri) County prosecuting attorney Tim Lohmar told NFL Media on Friday his office decided not to pursue a more serious charge of child endangerment, citing the difficulty in proving the felony beyond a reasonable doubt.

The news comes after Richardson appeared at the team's Florham Park, N.J., facility to publicly address his four-game suspension for the first time.

"I apologize to my teammates and the organization," he said. "I told them you don't have to worry about my name being in the news again."

Todd Bowles, the team's first-year head coach agreed and said Richardson's actions would speak louder than his words.

At that time, though, Bowles was not aware of the situation at hand. He spent a majority of the practice playing Richardson with the second string.

Though Richardson would not delve into specifics, he cited a particularly turbulent offseason as the source of his troubles.

"I'm not a dope fiend, man," he said. "I can say no. I just chose not to. I was in a depressing time in my offseason, and that's just that."

Per an NFL spokesman, the league is aware of the situation and is looking into the charges levied against Richardson.

Police found a fully-loaded semi-automatic handgun under the driver's seat once they were able to stop Richardson's vehicle. The report noted a "strong odor of burned marijuana" coming from the car.

"We are aware of the situation and are gathering information. This is a pending legal matter and we will have no further comment at this time," a Jets spokesman told NFL Media.

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