When Raheem Brock was arrested last year and accused of walking out on a $27 restaurant bill, I wrote that Brock’s side of the story sounded reasonable. Now a jury has found Brock’s story reasonable as well: Brock was found not guilty of theft after a two-day trial.
“It feels great,” Brock told the Philadelphia Daily News. “Everybody blew it up in the media and they made me look like a bad person. To have been found not guilty of these two charges really helped me out.”
Brock was arrested in June over what he said was a simple misunderstanding: He, his cousin and a friend placed an order at the Copabanana restaurant in Philadelphia. While they were waiting for their food, the friend said she was too hungry to wait and ran out and got some food elsewhere. When she came back, Brock and his cousin were still waiting for their food and the Copabanana told them their friend couldn’t come back in with outside food, so they canceled their order and left. The Copabanana called the police, who found Brock in the area and arrested him for walking out without paying. Brock said he thought the restaurant was OK with him not paying (seeing as he hadn’t received any food to pay for), and that the first he heard otherwise was when the police approached him. Brock says that when he was told the restaurant wanted him to pay the $27 bill, he offered to do so, but the police arrested him anyway.
After playing all 16 games for the Seahawks last season, Brock is currently a free agent, and he said he believes these charges pending against him contributed to the fact that he hasn’t caught on with another team yet.
“It really did mess up my whole contract year. It affected my contract year dramatically, because teams didn’t know if I was going to get suspended, or what,” he said.
Although Brock has a good case that he was treated unfairly in this incident, he may be protesting too much when he suggests the theft charge is why he remains unsigned. Brock was also charged with drunk driving in December, so the case of the unpaid $27 restaurant bill isn’t the only off-field concern NFL teams have about him.