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Rolando McClain says Decatur Police arrested the wrong guy

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EXCLUSIVE
The recent Rolando McClain incident is beginning to be a “he said-they said” situation. After being arrested last Sunday evening in Decatur for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, McClain, in an exclusive interview with Madison Weekly News, stated he wasn’t the person who cursed at members of the Decatur Police as they were attempting to disperse a large crowd that had gathered at Pines Park.

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.

By Bob Labbe

Madison Weekly News

3 Responses to Rolando McClain says Decatur Police arrested the wrong guy

  1. Buck Deal

    April 25, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    As a former policeman in Wash,DC This sounds like “selective” law enforcement.Why pick one man out of a crowd when they all are walking away unless you are trying to strut your authority as a policeman. There was no reason to select one person from a group that were all bad mouthing the police. That could have easily started a riot when the crowd was dispersing as asked. Ro should not have been there and his behavior is not condone but neither is the behavior of the police officer who arrested him. That was a really stupid thing for the officer to do as it did start more trouble and could have caused serious injury to others including the police.

  2. Randy Cavnar

    April 25, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    First of all, Mr.Labbe after seeing your interview on Channel 19, you said you were not there, and you need to stick to that. You have a right ot your opinion but you are a journalist and you relly need to keep your opinion out of it. For a former D.C officer to call a Decatur officer stupid in his comment is uncalled for. He was not there either. Until all of the facts are presented in court no one including myself should say “something does not seem right, or the officer is stupid” or that the police are right. What we do know is Rolando has always had a chip on his shoulder when it comes to authority, not just the police but his former coaching staff,and teammamtes as well. We do know as you pointed out in your interview with Channel 19 Mr. Labbe that Rolando was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Why? His little brother? His little brother of who has numerous arrests hisself and is usually in the wrong place at the wrong time? Really! He is that concerned with his career and he goes to the Pines Park, known for trouble in Decatur. For the record, I don’t believe Rolando. But, I wasn’t there so anything is possible. I try to keep an open mind, as should you as a reporter and this former D.C. police officer. That is what professional people in yours and his former profession should do. We have a criminal justice system, let it play out in court, let the ruling be made, then express your opinion.

  3. Walter

    April 26, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Where is the police video? How come that hasn’t surfaced. I also find flaws in the fact the officer didn’t recognize McClain? Come on, who believes that? McClain should however know better than to step foot in Decauter. There is an X on his chest.