Malik McDowell’s representation has spoken after the Cleveland Browns defensive tackle was arrested following a naked encounter with police.
The video shows a naked McDowell laying on the ground surrounded by police with restraints around his wrists and legs. The 6-foot-6, 290-pound lineman appears agitated by police as they try to keep him on the ground. McDowell is later loaded onto a stretcher and taken away, with medics putting a sheet over his body.
The South Florida Sentinel first reported the arrest of the Browns defensive tackle. The incident report obtained by the newspaper alleges that McDowell was seen walking naked near a school and then charged an officer, leaving him dazed after a “violent attack.” The officer claimed he was struck multiple times, suffering a swollen eye, per TMZ.
More video emerged later on from passersby, showing McDowell running and laying in the middle of the road in his birthday suit.
“Apparently somebody may have slipped him something or given him something he was unaware of, which explains some of his bizarre behavior,” McDowell’s attorney said.
Malik McDowell Wrangled Starting Role With Browns
McDowell appeared to be turning his life around after multiple run-ins with the law prior to signing with the Browns. He was a second-round pick of the Seahawks in 2017 but never played a down for the team.
McDowell hit rocket bottom in 2019, when he was charged with assault/resisting arrest, operating a vehicle while intoxicated and receiving and concealing stolen property. He later pled guilty to the charges and a video of the arrest was posted on TMZ, garnering millions of views. He received an 11-month jail sentence in Michigan and was put on probation for three years.
But McDowell had been a model citizen over the last year with the Browns, wrangling a starting role and carving out a path for an NFL future. That’s what made the situation even more bizarre.
McDowell not returning means the Browns may reboot their defensive line for a second consecutive season, save for All-Pro Myles Garrett. Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and tackle Malik Jackson are free agents, while backup pass-rusher Takkarist McKinley is unlikely to return after suffering an Achilles injury.
Malik McDowell’s Former Coach: ‘Doesn’t Make Sense’
McDowell’s former high school coach Reggie Wynns spoke to Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com and said the towering defensive tackle “doesn’t remember anything” from the encounter.
“I don’t know if someone laced him or what,” Wynns said. “I don’t know. That’s not him at all. All I’m hoping is that when they test him, they figure out that he had been drugged.
“You don’t do a great job for 17 games starting for the Cleveland Browns and then go to a training facility, and then you’re walking down the street [naked] and doing what he did. That doesn’t make sense to me.”
McDowell’s future in the NFL is now very much in question. The Browns released a statement addressing the incident.
“We are aware of the very concerning incident and arrest involving Malik McDowell and are in the process of gathering more information,” the Browns said in a statement on January 18. “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.”