Los Angeles police said officers used a stun gun Monday to subdue the 6-foot-3, 275-pound Griffen during a struggle after he tried to flee. He was released from jail early Tuesday on $50,000 bail, about 9½ hours after he was arrested, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's jail website.
Griffen, who according to the Daily Trojan was on campus earlier Monday to visit USC coaches and players, was pulled over at an intersection and couldn't produce valid identification, a police spokesman said. Griffen became agitated during questioning and attempted to run away after telling officers "he did not want to go back to jail," the Los Angeles Times reported.
Griffin, 23, was booked for felony battery, officer Norma Eisenman told The Associated Press, and is due in court Feb. 25.
Formal charges hadn't been filed by Tuesday afternoon, but the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office told the St. Paul Pioneer Press that it had passed the case to the City Attorney's Office for misdemeanor consideration, meaning Griffen will not deal with a felony.
Eisenman said Griffen also received a citation for public drunkenness in another incident early Saturday.
Spokesmen for the NFL and the Vikings said those organizations would conduct their own investigations.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league is looking into Griffen's situation. Griffen could face punishment, per the league's personal-conduct policy.
Jason Chinn, one of Griffen's representatives, didn't return messages Tuesday.
Griffen played for USC and was a fourth-round draft pick by the Vikings last year after skipping his senior season. He had more playing time toward the end of his rookie season and finished with 11 tackles, also seeing some action on special teams, and is in line to compete for a more significant role with starter Ray Edwards on the verge of free agency.
Griffen slipped from most pre-draft projections that pegged him as an earlier pick, and at the time, the Vikings acknowledged his penchant for inconsistent play.
"There were games when he was a first-round pick and there were games when he would disappear," director of college scouting Scott Studwell said after the draft. "But he's got great value where we took him, and I think he will blossom as a pro."
Studwell also said then the Vikings didn't have any concerns about Griffen's background. Griffen also was arrested in 2009 in Massachusetts on suspicion of breach of the peace.
"We are not worried about his character," Studwell said. "He has to grow up a little bit like they all do."
Griffen said after the draft that he enjoyed the college life, but he was ready for the pros.
"You learn from your mistakes," he said, "and that's how you become an adult."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.