Witnesses dispute police account of Tide CB Tony Brown arrest

By Jerry Hinnen | Staff Writer

AL.com has quoted multiple eyewitnesses to Alabama freshman cornerback Tony Brown's early Sunday morning arrest that say the Tuscaloosa police's account of the incident is inaccurate.

Brown was arrested in the parking lot of the Campus Way apartment complex shortly after midnight and charged with failure to obey and resisting arrest. A press release issued Sunday night by the Tuscaloosa Police Department alleged that Brown "yelled threatening profanity at the [arresting] officer and stepped toward the officers" multiple times after being ordered to leave the scene. Brown was taken into custody, but not before allegedly resisting arrest and being sprayed with pepper spray.

Contrary to that account, two witnesses told AL.com Tuesday that Brown had been complying with the officer's orders to disperse, and that one officer walked behind Brown for some 30-to-40 yards before using his pepper spray. Both witnesses said they did not see Brown make any threatening movement before being sprayed.

A Tuscaloosa PD spokesman told al.com his department would have no comment other than its prior press release.

While visiting the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. Tuesday, Nick Saban issued his first public comment on Brown's arrest.

"Look, some people are in the wrong place at the wrong time," he said, per the Associated Press. "Some people don't make good decisions about what they do, what they say. Tony Brown's a fine young man, we're glad to have him in the program. We'll certainly try to use this as a learning experience for him.

"The punishment he receives will be so that he learns not to do something like this in a disrespectful way to somebody in a position of authority who is there to protect us all, which is our police," Saban said. "We're going to get him to learn from this."

Brown is one of eight early enrollees in Alabama's recruiting class of 2014, a five-star cornerback from Beaumont, Texas ranked as the No. 2 cornerback in the class and No. 9 prospect overall. He is expected to challenge for immediate playing time in Alabama's secondary in 2014.

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