New Orleans police believe Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr. crossed a line as he celebrated LSU’s national championship.
New Orleans police obtained an arrest warrant for Beckham on Thursday accusing him of simple battery, a public information officer confirmed to The Chronicle-Telegram by phone.
Nola.com was first to report the news.
Video appeared to show Beckham slapping a male security officer on the butt in the locker room after LSU’s victory over Clemson on Monday night in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
“We are aware of the incident and have been in touch with Odell and his representatives on the matter,” a Browns spokesman said in a statement. “They are cooperating with the proper authorities to appropriately address the situation.”
OBJ wasn’t gonna let that officer spoil the fun.. told him to get the gat. 🤣 pic.twitter.com/sWoWj53r42
— 🕊 (@wannabjoyful) January 14, 2020
Beckham has been responsible for a series of distractions since the Browns acquired him in March in a trade with the Giants.
The police originally sought a warrant for a sexual battery charge, but it was declined by a judge, a source told Nola.com. Both charges are misdemeanors.
Some players were smoking victory cigars in the locker room, and reports said a stadium officer told players they’d be subject to arrest for smoking. No one was arrested.
An officer was admonishing guard Damien Lewis when Beckham, 27, threw something small in the officer’s direction then approached him from behind and appeared to smack him on the rear end. The officer turned around, and Beckham stared at him and said something.
In a sworn New Orleans police statement filed in Criminal District Court and obtained by Nola.com, the lieutenant momentarily “wanted to retaliate by punching the offender” but didn’t. He decided later he wanted to press charges.
The penalty for conviction is up to six months in prison and a maximum fine of $1,000, according to Nola.com.
Beckham, a New Orleans native, had an eventful night celebrating his alma mater’s title.
He was on the field with a large stack of what looked like cash and gave it to players after the game. LSU initially said the money was fake, but Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Joe Burrow told a Barstool Sports podcast he received real money.
LSU has contacted officials from the NCAA and Southeastern Conference, a university spokesman said Wednesday. College players aren’t allowed to receive cash payments.
“We are working with our student-athletes, the NCAA and the SEC in order to rectify the situation,” school spokesman Michael Bonnette said.
Beckham recently completed his first season with the Browns. It was filled with drama.
He was reprimanded by the NFL for wearing a watch in the opener against the Titans, was sent to the sideline to change his visor against the Jets in Week 2, fought with Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey during a game in Week 4, was told to change his clown-design cleats at halftime against the Broncos in Week 9 and reportedly told opponents to “come get me” during games.
After initially being noncommittal about his future in Cleveland, he said he wanted to return in 2020.
“I’m not going anywhere. I’ll be here,” he said Dec. 18. “We’re going to figure this thing out. It’s just too special to leave.”
He played all season with a sports hernia that may require surgery but caught 74 passes for 1,035 yards and four touchdowns.
The arrest warrant came two days after Kevin Stefanski was announced as Browns coach.