Terps running back Wes Brown arrested, charged with second-degree assault, theft and wiretapping


(Associated Press)

Maryland running back Wes Brown was arrested Wednesday night and charged with second-degree assault, theft and wiretapping, a University of Maryland Police Department spokesman said Friday.

According to the arrest report, Brown was being questioned by a Baltimore Police Department detective on the south edge of campus near Jason’s Deli and the 7-11 along Baltimore Avenue. Brown, according to public information officer Jeremy Silbert of Baltimore PD, is a “person of interest in an open, non-fatal shooting” that occurred last month.

Brown had made telephone arrangements to meet with Baltimore PD, according to UMPD, and Baltimore PD called UMPD for assistance because a Maryland student was involved.

During the questioning, Brown swung at the Baltimore detective  – missing him — then shoved him with two hands and fled on foot. The rising sophomore was eventually tracked down, about a quarter of a mile away, and ordered to the ground. Brown complied.

The assaulted officer was not injured.

The wiretapping charge came because Brown secretly recorded audio of his conversation with police on an allegedly borrowed cellphone hidden in his pocket, considered “unlawful interception of oral communication,” according to the UMPD spokesman.

Since Brown also fled on foot, carrying the cellphone with him, he was charged with theft of the device. Brown’s friend, the spokesman said, could conceivably testify that he had lent Brown the cellphone in an effort to have the theft charge dropped.

As of Friday afternoon, Brown’s bail had been reduced from $7,500 to $2,500. He is required to post 10 percent of that to be released. A bondsman had been assigned to his case, so he will be likely be released from jail shortly. (UPDATE at 6:49 p.m.: He’s been released, per Maryland Case Search)

In a statement, the Maryland athletics department acknowledged Brown’s arrest and said he has been suspended by the university, which includes all football-related activities. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 31 at 8:45 a.m. in Upper Marlboro.

“We are extremely concerned that one of our student-athletes, Wes Brown, was arrested Wednesday evening,” the statement said. “This is a matter that we take very seriously. We have been in contact with the local authorities and will continue to cooperate throughout the entire process.

“The University of Maryland has suspended Brown, and he is not permitted to participate in any athletic-related activities. Since this is a pending investigation, we will refrain from having any further comment at this time.”

Brown sat out the spring football season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum. He also dealt with an ankle injury that sidelined him for the last four games of his freshman season, but still appeared in eight games, rushing for 382 yards and two touchdowns on 90 carries. On the summer depth chart, he was listed as one of three co-starters alongside Brandon Ross and Albert Reid.

Alex Prewitt covers the Washington Capitals. Follow him on Twitter @alex_prewitt or email him at alex.prewitt@washpost.com.
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Alex Prewitt | July 5, 2013