Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen was arrested on a charge of felony battery on Monday after assaulting a police officer and being tased near the Southern Cal campus, according to a spokesman with the Los Angeles Police Department.
In a story first reported by the Daily Trojan newspaper, the police pulled Griffen over around 4 p.m. Pacific time but he did not have valid identification on him. When police questioned Griffen, he became aggressive and attempted to run away. Griffen then assaulted one of the officers who was pursuing him. The officer used his taser on Griffen, who was arrested.
Griffen was being held at the 77th Community Police Station jail as of late Monday and his bail was set at $50,000.
The Vikings selected Griffen in the fourth round of last April's NFL draft out of Southern Cal. Considered a talented player, there were character concerns that caused him to fall. He was inactive for the first five games of his rookie season but was on the 45-man game-day roster for the final 11, playing mainly on special teams.
With Ray Edwards and Brian Robison both potentially hitting the free-agent market this offseason, Griffen appears to have a chance to compete for a job at left defensive end next season. Griffen had eight tackles on special teams in 2010 and had seven tackles and five quarterback hits on defense.
Griffen, 23, had one incident with the law while at USC. He and his former college teammate, Jordan Campbell, were cited by the Nantucket Police for a noise violation at a party on July 4, 2009. No charges were filed in that case.
Here's a Q&A the Star Tribune's Michael Rand conducted with Griffen last spring in which he talked about changing his ways.
"Who doesn't enjoy college, man?" Griffen told Rand. "You know, that comes around once in a lifetime. Freshman year, you know. And then you get through it and you grow up. That time has passed, and I've moved on to bigger and better things. Now you're working. It's a business, and you have to help your organization. You're a piece of the puzzle, and if you're not fitting, they're going to find a way to make it fit or you're going to have to leave."
A member from the agency that represents Griffen said they would have no immediate comment.
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