Updated at 10:45 a.m. with Fletcher’s comments
London Fletcher said this morning that he was “disappointed” at the Cleveland Browns Stadium altercation that resulted in the arrest of four of his relatives and the brief hospitalization of an aunt Sunday after the Washington Redskins’ victory over the Browns in Fletcher’s hometown.
“It’s my understanding that from the moment they got out of their car, they were harassed by Browns fans and things like that, even all the way into the stadium,” Fletcher told Steve Wyche of “NFL AM.” “I had a 13-year-old cousin who was hit in the face prior to the game. This was going into the game, I guess, in the tailgate area. A lot of harassment that took place prior to the game and during the course of the game.
“I’m from Cleveland. I know Browns fans and they’re rabid fans and they love their team. I guess in the stadium they were being harassed again. The situation that led to them being arrested was stadium security. One of the stadium security guys assaulted one of my family members. Instead of defusing the situation, he escalated the situation. It wasn’t the fans they had the altercation with in the stadium. It was Browns security, the stadium security.”
Early reports indicated that Fletcher’s aunt had suffered a heart attack; he said she had a neck injury and has been released from the hospital. His relatives remain in jail this morning because they were taken in Sunday afternoon, he said, but have not been charged. Fletcher also clarified that four, and not three, relatives were arrested.
His young cousin “wasn’t hurt like that [requiring hospitalization]. He’s okay. I had an aunt who was hospitalized for a neck injury, I guess when the whole melee took place. … She did not suffer a heart attack, which I guess was being reported. Details are still emerging, but this the understanding that I’ve gotten. It’s an ongoing legal situation that we’ll be moving forward with.”
Fletcher didn’t rule out legal action if security indeed was out of line. He was playing for his hometown for the first time in his pro career and admitted that the incident put a “damper” on his day, despite the Redskins’ win.
“Obviously we would like to see something be done. I had four family members who were arrested,” Fletcher said. “It was definitely disheartening and put a major damper on my return going home to play in the city that I love. I grew up loving the Cleveland Browns and I love the city of Cleveland. I’m not happy about what happened because it put a damper on my return and what was otherwise a great day, being able to go in and win a ball game. It’s definitely something I’m upset about.”
There’s more from Fletcher’s interview on DC Sports Bog.
Filed at 8:56 a.m.
Three of Washington Redskins linebacker London Fletcher’s relatives reportedly were arrested and another member of his family suffered a neck injury after an altercation with Browns fans Sunday in Cleveland.
Fletcher’s cousins, Hasaan Robinson and Douglas Robinson, and his 18-year-old nephew, whose name was not revealed, were arrested, according to WEWS-TV, after the Redskins’ 38-21 victory over the Browns. Fletcher, a Cleveland native, was playing in his hometown for the first time in his 15-year pro career and had gotten tickets for 42 friends and family members.
It was earlier reported that Evette Robinson, Fletcher’s 57-year-old aunt, suffered a heart attack, according to a relative. However, Fletcher, speaking with Steve Wyche and Mark Kriegel on “NFL AM” today said that she suffered a neck injury. Fletcher, as did other members of his family, said that stadium security escalated the incident. He added that his 13-year-old cousin was assaulted shortly after arriving at the stadium.
Nita Ashford, a relative of Fletcher’s, told WEWS that family members were attacked and, in the resulting fight, police used Tasers as they made arrests.
Family members, many of whom were in the bleachers and were wearing Redskins gear, said the security firm at the stadium was overly aggressive.
“All the while the game was going on, first the fans were picking at us and we were getting things thrown on us,” Nita Ashford said. “One of my nephews got punched in the face.”
Fletcher’s sister said the altercation intensified because his aunt was in the middle of the scrum. “They choked her,” Keair Hall told WEWS. “That’s why a lot of the cousins were coming [to help]. They were choking my auntie, choking her.”
Cleveland police told NFL.com that they had no record of arrests or of any incident, but a Cleveland City Jail official said there were arrests at the stadium. However, he could not confirm the identity of those arrested.