Redskins’ LB blames stadium security for arrests

Washington Redskins linebacker London Fletcher on Monday blamed
security workers at Cleveland Browns Stadium for a confrontation
that led to the arrests of several of his relatives during his
first NFL game in his hometown.

A report from the Cleveland Police Department, however, blamed
what it called a ”riot” on the fans who were arrested, saying a
security official was punched and knocked to the ground while
trying to escort an unruly spectator from the stadium.

Fletcher said four of his family members were arrested and still
in custody as of Monday afternoon. Cleveland police spokeswoman
Detective Jennifer Ciaccia said five people were arrested for
assault on a police officer, aggravated rioting and resisting
arrest and that they had not been officially charged by Monday
evening.

Fletcher said he had about 50 friends and family at the stadium
for Washington’s 38-21 win at Cleveland on Sunday. He said they
were harassed because they were wearing Redskins colors, but he
said the fracas apparently began when a security official was
asking how the large group had acquired such good seats.

”Really what led to the ruckus was something that happened with
stadium security – where they’re supposed to diffuse the situation,
they were more instigators or they didn’t diffuse the situation,”
Fletcher said. ”It wasn’t even with the fans at that point in
time. I think one of the stadium workers, I don’t know, he went
overboard with what his job responsibilities were.”

The police report said the incident began when a security
officer saw a fan who claimed to be related to Fletcher taunting
Browns fans. When the officer later tried to eject the fan, others
became involved and that one fan punched the officer ”knocking him
to the ground.”

The report says later ”the riot moved into the concourse area”
and that several people were treated for injuries. Fletcher also
said he had an aunt who was hospitalized for ”neck injuries” and
released.

John Lloyd, operations manager with the stadium’s Tenable
security contractor, had no comment. He referred questions to the
company’s legal department, where a message was left seeking
comment.

Associated Press writer Kantele Franko in Columbus, Ohio, and
Thomas J. Sheeran in Cleveland contributed to this report.

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