Vikings LB Erin Henderson arrested for second time in two months on DWI charges

Vikings LB Erin Henderson had a brush with the law Jan. 1.

Vikings linebacker Erin Henderson leaves the field after losing to the Cleveland Browns at Mall of America Field back in late September.  

Bruce Kluckhohn / USA TODAY Sports

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings linebacker Erin Henderson was arrested for the second time in a little over a month Wednesday on three charges of DWI.

Henderson, 27, was arrested by Chanhassen, Minn., police and booked into jail Jan. 1 at 3:03 p.m. for a second-degree count of DWI test refusal, fourth-degree DWI, third-degree DWI and a fourth charge of violating limited driver's license conditions.

A statement released by the Carver County Sheriff's office said Henderson was the driver and sole occupant of a black SUV, which had "skidded over the centerline, through a grassy area, and then through the parking lot before colliding with trees on the west side of the parking lot."

The statement said Henderson was not injured during the crash, but appeared to be under the influence of alcohol and was arrested after "performing poorly during standardized field sobriety testing."

According to the statement, Henderson was also in possession of a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Henderson posted $12,000 bail and was released, with a court appearance set for March 3.

Henderson was arrested on Nov. 19 for probable cause DWI and possession of a controlled substance, but wasn't charged and subsequently filed a lawsuit against the state.

The Vikings released a statement on Thursday, saying, "We are aware of the matter involving Erin Henderson. We are continuing to gather information and will have further comment at the appropriate time."

Henderson lost his starting job as the team's middle linebacker following the November arrest, but still finished second on the team in tackles this season with 112. He had four sacks and two interceptions.

Henderson missed a week in November with a "personal matter" before his arrest and lawsuit came to light. The St. Paul Pioneer Press first reported that Henderson was suing the state's Department of Public Safety to retain his driver's license, which was revoked after Henderson registered a blood-alcohol level of 0.11. Anyone registering 0.08 or higher is considered legally impaired by state law.

"You know, it was eye-opening, honestly," Henderson said after returning to the team in November. "It was a wake-up call for me and, honestly, it may be something that I needed in the long run, something I think will help me progress and become the person I'm capable of being and the man that I want to be."

Asked why the situation might have been something he needed, Henderson responded: "You want to progress. You want to get better. You want to mature. You want to grow up and you want to do things a certain way. But sometimes you can't get out of your own way.

"But I think something like this will give me the opportunity to really step back and look in the mirror and look at my reflection and become happier with the person that I am, and the person that I know I can become. And like I said, I've been given a lot of great tools and a lot of resources by the program and by the organization here, something I'm very thankful for. I look forward to showing you guys the improvements of myself."

Henderson was the third Vikings player arrested in a span of 11 days in November. Receiver Jerome Simpson was arrested and charged with two counts of DWI. Cornerback A.J. Jefferson was arrested and charged with domestic assault and was released by the team shortly after being arrested.

Henderson has one year remaining on a two-year contract he signed last offseason. He is set to earn $1.95 million in base salary next year, but would count as only $250,000 in dead money against the salary cap if he is released by the Vikings. The team fired coach Leslie Frazier on Monday and could be looking at significant changes to defensive personnel and scheme as well.

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