Illinois football staffer facing gun charges after 'joke'
Illinois assistant director of player personnel and relations Matt Sinclair faces two felony counts of unlawful use of a weapon.
Illinois football staff member and former NFL player Matt Sinclair faces gun charges after allegedly pointing a handgun at a vehicle carrying other staff members.
Champaign County State's Attorney Julia Rietz told the Associated Press that Sinclair was arraigned on two felony counts of unlawful use of a weapon. Sinclair, who holds the title of assistant director of player personnel and relations, was arrested as he drove his truck home from Illinois' game at Purdue.
Someone called police around 4 p.m. Saturday to report a driver pointing a gun out of a truck on Interstate 74 in eastern Illinois.
After police arrested Sinclair a short time later in Urbana, "(Sinclair) told them it was a joke," Rietz said.
A phone listing for Sinclair is disconnected and he does not yet have a lawyer.
Police said they also found a set of brass knuckles in the truck and a loaded magazine for the gun. Rietz said Sinclair was also charged with a misdemeanor related to the brass knuckles.
Sinclair played linebacker at Illnois from 2001-04 then continued his playing career in the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens, Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins.
Fighting Illini coach Tim Beckman told the AP that Sinclair "clearly had a lapse of judgement," but declined to comment further.
Illinois will wrap up the 2013 season at home against Northwestern on Saturday.
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