Thursday, September 07, 2006

UT Players also resisted Arrest...

The two Longhorn football players who face misdemeanor charges for possession of marijuana after their arrest early Monday morning were Tasered before being detained and may face charges for resisting arrest, said Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton at a press conference Wednesday.

Tarell Brown, starting cornerback, Tyrell Gatewood, reserve safety, and former linebacker Aaron Harris were driving north on Interstate Highway 35 when they were pulled over for swerving in and out of traffic, according to the arrest affidavit. Travis County deputies later found marijuana in Harris' vehicle and a loaded 9mm handgun in Brown's lap.

Hamilton would not comment about the actions Brown and Gatewood took to lead officers to Taser the two men.

"After reviewing all the reports and evidence in this case, I am comfortable that the actions taken were appropriate," Hamilton said.

Jamie Balagia, Gatewood and Brown's attorney, said that there was no provocation or reason for the Tasering.

"When they release the video tape, it will prove it," Balagia said.

Hamilton said that Balagia could access the video of the incident through a public information request.

According to the arrest affidavit, Brown and Gatewood were asleep in the vehicle before being woken and detained by deputies. Hamilton said that both men were Tasered while inside the vehicle.

Hamilton said that to take control of the situation, an intermediary weapon had to be used. He said he applauded the deputies for using a Taser instead of a more lethal weapon.

Balagia announced Wednesday that Brown and Gatewood both passed a drug test that was taken after their arrest.

The officers who Tasered Gatewood and Brown are still on active duty, Hamilton said.

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