NFL Player Arrested on Gun Charges
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Washington police arrested Indianapolis Colts safety Joe Lefeged early Saturday after allegedly finding an firearm that was illegally inside the white Camaro he was in, police said.
The Chevrolet sports car got police’s attention because it was being driven erratically, Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Araz Alali told CNN.
Officers tried to make a traffic stop, but the Camaro sped from the scene.
The driver eventually fled on foot and has not been located, Alali said Saturday afternoon.
The 25-year-old Lefeged and another passenger in the car — 23-year-old Aaron Timothy Wilson — also fled, though they were both arrested without incident a few minutes after midnight, according to Alali.
That account differed from the one that Lefeged’s public defender, Martina King, detailed during her client’s initial court appearance on Saturday.
She said Lefeded was sitting in the Camaro’s passenger seat, not on foot, when he was arrested. King further contended the gun in question was under Lefeged’s seat — and not out of reach — and was registered to him.
A law enforcement source said a H&K .40-caliber semiautomatic pistol belonging to Lefeged was found underneath the passenger seat. Police also found plastic bottles with orange juice containing “an odor consistent with vodka,” the source said.
Lefeged and Wilson were both arrested on suspicion of carrying a firearm without a license, having an unregistered firearm, having unregistered ammunition, presence of a firearm in a motor vehicle and possession of an open container of alcohol — Alali said.
For the time being, at least, Lefeged is facing only two charges: presence of a firearm in a motor vehicle and possession of an unregistered firearm.
The Colt defender did not enter a plea during his initial court appearance in D.C. Superior Court on Saturday; his next hearing is set for Tuesday morning.
Washington has some of the strictest gun control measures in the country.
According to the district’s law, “no person shall carry within the District of Columbia either openly or concealed on or about their person, a pistol, or any deadly or dangerous weapon capable of being so concealed.”
That said, a firearm is permitted in the district if it is held in the registrant’s home or workplace, is being used for “lawful recreational purposes” or “is being transported for a lawful purpose.”
Firearms registered elsewhere still must be registered in the District of Columbia.
Lefeged has played in every game of his two-year professional football career, including four starts last season for the Colts.
His arrest comes a few days after another NFL standout, former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, was charged with several gun-related offenses and murder in the death of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd.
By Pamela Brown, Carol Cratty and Greg Botelho