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The 23-year old McClain, who lives in Madison and who less than two weeks ago signed a $700,000 one-year deal with the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens, now sits and waits to see what happens with the former Decatur resident before the Ravens decide if the team wants to keep McClain on board or go ahead and cut ties with the three-year NFL linebacker.
McClain Speaks Exclusively
McClain stated, “The situation could have been avoided on my part, but I was at the park in an attempt to keep my brother out of trouble as he said he was going to the park because some guys had spit on his car and had harassed him.”
“The police were already at the park when I arrived,” added McClain. “I tried to get my brother to calm down. Police thought I cussed them. It wasn’t me. They arrested the wrong guy.”
McClain said he was at his grandmother’s home cooking on the grill for a family outing when his brother came to the gathering complaining about what was going on at Pines Park.
McClain, the former Decatur High School multi-sport athlete and All-American at the University of Alabama, has had two other encounters with Decatur Police in the past two years. The first incident was thrown out, while the more recent, last January, is still on the books.
Tears Of Regret
After being handcuffed and placed in the back seat of a police squad car by police after Sunday’s incident, McClain sat in disbelief and began to think to himself, “This probably could end my chance to play football.” McClain added, “I haven’t cried in years, but I had tears in my eyes. I wasn’t going to let my brother get into a fight.”
The Decatur Police Department has appeared on local news and even on a sports-talk radio show to speak on the incident.
According to The Decatur Daily, police spokesman Lt. John Crouch said about 700 people had gathered for a softball game at the 1612 Fifth St. N.W. park. Police were called about 7:30 p.m. after a fight broke out.
There was no fight going on when officers arrived, but “it appeared something had just broken up,” Crouch said.
Crowds filled the street and created a problem for drivers. Officers told everyone to move or face arrest.
“Some of the crowd was belligerent and began yelling back at the officers,” Crouch said. “One of the individuals, as he was walking off the street, yelled to the crowd, ‘(Expletive) the police.’ “
The man kept walking when officer Todd Walker told him to stop. Walker didn’t recognize the former Crimson Tide football star until after he caught up to him, grabbed his arm and told him he was under arrest, Crouch said.
McClain “jerked his arm away” and replied, ‘You told me to walk and I’m walking,’ ” Crouch said.
McClain pulled away from Walker a second time and then from officer Michael Ferguson, who grabbed his other arm, Crouch said.
“He never swung at the officers. He just kept jerking away from them,” Crouch said.
Some friends who were with McClain tried to pull Walker and Ferguson away from McClain.
“There was some pushing and shoving between the officers and McClain’s friends, and members of the crowd actually stepped in to calm his friends down and try to let the officers do their job. In fact, some pushing and shoving occurred between his friends and the members of the crowd that were trying to get them to leave the police alone,” Crouch said.
When more officers arrived, McClain’s friends dispersed into the crowd. None were arrested, but they may face charges if police succeed in identifying them, Crouch said.
Decatur City Jail released McClain on Sunday night on $1,000 bail, according to jail records. Both charges against him are misdemeanors.
Crouch said McClain was not the only one who shouted at police, but he used foul language loudly in public and directed his comment at the entire crowd, not simply at the officers.
McClain is scheduled to report to the Ravens’ camp on the 29th. For he and his family, let’s hope this latest escapade is resolved and all is right with this struggling young man.