Former LSU cornerback Tharold Simon was arrested last Thursday night as the NFL Draft was just getting underway. Simon was arrested in his hometown of Eunice, La. for public intimidation, resisting an officer and a noise violation. Despite the arrest, he was drafted in the fifth round by the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday.
According to Brett Martel of the Associated Press, police say Simon told the officer “I own Eunice” and peeled his tires moving a car from in front of his grandparents house. The officer also claims Simon told him he could get him fired because “the mayor is on my side” and violently jerked his arm away when the officer attempted to arrest him for intimidation.
Simon’s agent, Peter Schaffer, vehemently disputed the officer’s claims and said his client is innocent of any wrongdoing.
Simon addressed the events leading to his arrest shortly after getting drafted by the Seahawks on Saturday and, well, it’s best to just let Simon explain his side of the story.
“It’s my fault. I shouldn’t have been parked on the side of the road but I was just chilling in the house at my grandmother’s house and my car was parked on the side of the road by my grandmother’s house. I seen a car pull up and it looked like a cop car so I went out there and when I went out there he told me to move the car,” Simon said.
“I moved the car and when I turned the car on the music was up, so when I pulled up in the driveway he told me to give him my license. I gave him my license and then I just sat on the car while he was running my license through and he had called another cop to bring him a ticket book I guess so he could write me a ticket. One of my friends had come to congratulate me on the draft that was going on and he told my friend to move around.
“Then I had got off the car and was like ‘man, you’re tripping for nothing. There’s really nothing serious going on around here’ and he said my pants was low and he was like ‘pick your pants up before I take you to jail.’ So I picked my pants up and he said, ‘you know what, matter of fact put your hands behind your back’ so I put my hands behind my back and I had my girl’s car keys and I was trying to throw my girl’s car keys to my cousin so I kind of jerked my arm and he said I was resisting arrest.
“I never ran. I never flinched to move or nothing and he said I was resisting arrest. So he took me to jail or whatever and said I threatened his life or whatever. I told him I had 30 witnesses that know I didn’t do nothing wrong and that I didn’t say nothing wrong. I’m a humble guy. I’m embarrassed about what happened because it shouldn’t have happened. Like I said, everything happens for a reason. Right now my focus is just to get up to Seattle and go compete and play some football.”
A conversation with Simon’s attorneys eased Seattle’s concerns over drafting him.
“We were able to speak with his attorneys and be comfortable with his situation,” general manager John Schneider said.
It’s a pretty crazy story, maybe so crazy it’s actually true. Simon’s camp feels strongly he wasn’t in the wrong and that an overzealous police officer overstepped his authority. Simon said he initially feared the arrest could keep him from being drafted. Now Simon has a chance to prove the Seahawks didn’t make a mistake in being the team to end that concern.