CLEVELAND — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from a previous story.
Following a breakout season that appeared to reignite his NFL career, Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Malik McDowell finds himself in trouble with the law.
Police records indicate that the 25-year-old McDowell was arrested in Deerfield Beach, Florida, on Monday and has been charged with the following:
- Aggravated battery of an officer, firefighter, EMT, etc.
- Resisting an officer -- obstruction with violence
- Exposing sex organs in public
According to a police report, officers responded to a call regarding a naked man walking near a school. Upon arrival, officers found McDowell sitting on a curb. After being approached, McDowell proceeded to stand up and shout an expletive at an officer before charging at him with a full fist. The officer said that the 6-foot-, 295-pound McDowell rammed his body into him and struck him with closed fists, including one that struck the officer's right eye and left him "dazed" with "extreme pain" and others that hit him in the head.
The officer said that after he punched McDowell in the chest in self-defense, he slipped out of the officer's grasp and fled on foot. He was ultimately taken down and handcuffed after being tasered. It was noted that McDowell was naked and walking around the outside of a school, in which children were present.
In a statement, the Browns said: “We are aware of the very concerning incident and arrest involving Malik McDowell and are in the process of gathering more information. We understand the severity of this matter and our thoughts are for the well-being of all involved. We will have no further comment at this time. “
A 2017 second-round pick, this isn't the first time McDowell has faced legal issues.
After the start of his NFL career with the Seattle Seahawks was initially delayed due to an ATV accident, the Michigan State product was arrested on separate occasions for driving under the influence and disorderly conduct during his rookie year. In 2019, he was charged with assault, resisting arrest, and operating a vehicle while intoxicated following an incident with police in Lathrup Village, Michigan, and was later arrested for receiving and concealing stolen property after police found a stolen car in his possession during the same year.
As a result of the two incidents in 2019, McDowell was sentenced to 11 months in jail. Having yet to have played an official NFL snap, he signed with the Browns in 2021 and went on to tally 33 tackles, seven of which came for a loss and three sacks in 15 games (14 starts).
While the former 5-star prospect only signed a one-year deal in Cleveland, the Browns would have had the ability to re-sign McDowell this offseason as an exclusive rights free agent.