Malik McDowell, a Cleveland Browns lineman, was arrested in Florida on Monday after a bizarre and unprovoked attack on law enforcement. He has since been charged with public exposure and aggravated battery of an officer.
According to police reports, the Browns DT was found in Deerfield Beach, Fl., walking naked around a school. When approached by law enforcement, he charged at “full speed with closed fist,” injuring one of the officers.
Leaving the officer “dazed,” he allegedly struck him “in the right eye and on the top of the head.” The injured officer later revealed that he likely sustained permanent damage to his eye. Attempting to flee the scene, Malik McDowell was then tasered and handcuffed as authorities struggled to understand just what happened to the Browns lineman.
“We are aware of the very concerning incident and arrest involving Malik McDowell and are in the process of gathering more information,” the Cleveland Browns said in an official statement. “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.”
At his court appearance on Tuesday, his bond was set at $31,000. He was also warned not to return to the school where he was found belligerent.
According to CBS News in Miami, Malik McDowell’s attorney told the judge he believed “somebody may have slipped him something or given him something he was unaware of, which explains some of his bizarre behavior.”
As of Tuesday, no information has been released to explain how or if Malik was drugged, or why he acted so violently toward police when they found him completely exposed outside the school.
The 6’6″, 295-pound Browns lineman was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the second round out of Michigan State in 2017. Before he could take the field, however, he suffered a head injury in an ATV accident.
The team released him before training camp ever started, and in 2019 he was charged with a DUI. Video of the incident at the time showed McDowell fighting police even after he was hit with a taser. He also allegedly tried to take one of the officer’s guns during the violent brawl.
According to The Daily Mail, McDowell’s blood-alcohol level was revealed to have been over twice the legal limit.
Two months later, law enforcement found him with a stolen truck, and he was sentenced to jail for 11 months and three years of probation. He plead guilty to a series of charges, including concealing stolen property, driving while impaired, obstructing justice, and assaulting a police officer.
Feeling his remorse, the Cleveland Browns offered McDowell a chance to play in the NFL again, and he made the official roster as a defensive tackle.
Cleveland general manager Andrew Berry told ESPN reporters before the 2021-2022 season began that Malik McDowell was “accountable for his actions” and “in a good place, personally and medically.”
After getting picked up by the Browns, McDowell posted a photo of the press conference to Instagram with the caption, “Time Heals!”
Before Monday’s incident, he finished his first season in the NFL with 33 recorded tackles, seven tackles for loss, five QB hits, one fumble recovery, and three sacks. The team finished 8-9 this season, however, missing the playoffs.
The defensive lineman is still on probation because of the incident in 2019 in Michigan, which could further complicate issues for him if he’s found convicted in Florida.
Malik McDowell is also set to become a free agent in March, meaning that his recent arrest has the chance to end his career in the NFL once again.