Malik McDowell, a defensive tackle for the Cleveland Browns, was arrested Monday in Florida on charges of public exposure, battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest with violence, according to ESPN. McDowell is being held on $27,000 bond. According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, McDowell attacked a deputy that left the officer "dazed."
"We are aware of the very concerning incident and arrest involving Malik McDowell and are in the process of gathering more information," a Browns spokesperson said in a statement to ESPN. "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."
The incident report states that police in Deerfield Beach, Florida reported getting a call of a naked man walking near a school, which was later determined to be a children's learning center that was in session. When police confronted McDowell, he charged at them "full speed with closed fist," leaving the deputy injured. McDowell fled the scene before being tased and handcuffed.
This is not the first time McDowell had an incident with the police. In 2019 the defensive lineman was charged in Michigan with driving while impaired, obstructing justice and assaulting a police officer. Two months later, McDowell was found in possession of a stolen truck, which led to another charge of receiving and concealing stolen property. He was sentenced to 11 months in jail and three years probation.
McDowell was selected in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. Due to multiple arrests, McDowell was cut by the Seahawks in July 2018 and didn't play in the NFL the last three seasons due to additional arrest and severing time in jail. He signed with the Browns in May 2021 and played 15 games for the Browns this season. For the year, McDowell recorded 33 tackles and three sacks.
"We are certainly aware of Malik's past," Browns general manager Andrew Berry said, per Sportsnaut.com. "He is accountable for his actions and has had to live with the consequences for decisions earlier in his life. We believe Malik is in a good place, personally and medically. He has taken the necessary steps to get on a healthy path and has learned from his experiences. Malik understands the expectations we have of him as he attempts to make our football team.