Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Malik McDowell was arrested earlier this week after being naked in public outside of a preschool in Florida and then attacking police officers that attempted to intervene.
Via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, McDowell’s mentor and high school football coach, Reggie Wynns, says McDowell told him he remembers nothing of the incident that led him to end up back in jail.
“He said he doesn’t remember anything,” Wynns said. “He doesn’t remember nothing. He was so emotional. It had me in tears, because he was trying, trying, trying so hard.”
TMZ Sports obtained video of McDowell working out a gym close to where they incident took place. It shows him acting normally and engaging with others in the gym throughout. He returned to his hotel near the gym to shower and then left again, this time without clothes with some erratic behavior reported to have followed.
McDowell walked down the street naked, laid down in the road, resisted arrest and assaulted an officer before being taken into custody.
Via Local 10 news, in a preliminary court a lawyer representing McDowell said that “somebody may have slipped him something or given him something that he wasn’t aware of, which explains some of this bizarre behavior.”
Wynns agreed with that possibility.
“I don’t know if someone laced him or what,” Wynns said. “I don’t know. That’s not him at all. All I’m hoping is that when they test him, they figure out that he had been drugged.
“You don’t do a great job for 17 games starting for the Cleveland Browns and then go to a training facility, and then you’re walking down the street [naked] and doing what he did. That doesn’t make sense to me.”
McDowell had just completed his first season of play in the NFL four years after he was initially drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in 2017. An ATV accident ahead of training camp left him with serious head and facial injuries that led to him never being cleared by doctors to play in two years in Seattle.
McDowell has had several run-ins with law enforcement as well, including a September 2017 DUI and a December 2017 allegation of disorderly conduct. In February 2019, he was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, resisting arrest, and assault.
McDowell started 14 of 15 games played for the Browns this season with 33 tackles, 3.0 sacks, a pass defended and a fumble recovery.