July 22, 2014

Medina
Partly sunny
88°F

Browns draft pick Armonty Bryant, who has past arrest for selling marijuana, hit with DUI

When Armonty Bryant was drafted by the Browns in the seventh round April 27, he was asked about an arrest in college for selling marijuana twice to an undercover officer. He said he would take advantage of his second chance and not let anyone down.

Bryant

Now, he’s hoping for a third chance. And rookie minicamp doesn’t even start until Friday.

Bryant was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol Monday after his arrest Friday morning — less than a week after getting picked by the Browns — in Ada, Okla., where he starred at defensive end for Division II East Central University. A court appearance was scheduled for today.

The Ada News first reported the arrest.

According to the police report, Bryant was stopped around 3:45 a.m. Friday near the stadium at East Central, and a test showed his blood-alcohol level was 0.098 percent. The legal limit in Oklahoma is 0.08.

According to the report, Bryant refused to blow properly into the machine, so the blood-alcohol content wasn’t accurate. He also declined to take a blood test.

“I just don’t want to lose my driver’s license,” he said.

Bryant (6-foot-4, 263 pounds) was suspended for three games of his senior season and pleaded no contest in October to a felony charge of marijuana distribution in a school zone. He sold marijuana to an undercover police officer and was arrested during practice. He got a five-year deferred sentence.

He was asked about the incident minutes after the Browns selected him with the No. 217 pick.

“Good people make mistakes,” he said. “I’ve always been told that by my head coach. I feel like it was just a stupid move on my part. I should’ve been more mature about the situation and being focused on football, that’s something I really want to do with my life. Now, that I’ve got that second chance, I feel like I won’t let anyone down, I won’t let myself down, I won’t let the people around me, I won’t let the Cleveland Browns down and I appreciate them for taking a chance at it for me.”

The Browns sent defensive line coach Joe Cullen to Oklahoma to work out Bryant before the draft and felt comfortable enough with the background check to spend a draft pick.

“Through the course of looking into his background with Coach Cullen out there as well as our scouting staff, going through that, we felt like he’s past his mistakes that he’s made and ready to move on and he’s matured,” coach Rob Chudzinski said.

It’s unknown if Bryant will attend minicamp this weekend.

“We are aware of the incident and are now in the process of collecting more information,” a Browns spokesman said. “We will not have any further comment.”

Bryant said the night of the draft the Browns asked plenty of questions about his character.

“As soon as we got past that, I think they got a little sense of what type of person I actually am and just feel like I just made that mistake,” he said.

Bryant transferred after academic troubles his freshman year, stopped at a junior college, then finished at East Central, where he totaled a school-record 26.5 sacks.

According to the officer’s report, Bryant made a left turn without signaling until stopping at a stop sign. The officer reported smelling alcohol on Bryant’s breath, but he initially denied having anything to drink. The officer administered sobriety tests at the sight and said Bryant had difficulty with several of the steps.

Bryant finally admitted to having “a few drinks earlier in the evening.”

“During my interactions with Armonty I observed him to have slurred speech, to have a strong odor associated with an alcoholic beverage coming from about his person and to be unbalanced on his feet,” Officer Pool wrote in the report.

Jail records show Bryant posted his $500 bail and was checked out of the Justice Center at 10:30 a.m. Friday.

A passenger in the vehicle with Bryant, Ashley Robison, was arrested and charged with public intoxication.

Browns CEO Joe Banner consistently preaches the focus on character, yet two of their recent acquisitions have been arrested. Veteran linebacker Quentin Groves, signed as a free agent, was arrested April 17 for solicitation.

Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7253 or spetrak@chroniclet.com. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.