Vikings' DE Griffen accused of assaulting officer
Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen was accused of assaulting a police officer and faced an NFL investigation Tuesday after he was arrested during a traffic stop in South Los Angeles.
Los Angeles police said officers used a stun gun to subdue the 6-foot-3, 275-pound Griffen during a struggle after he tried to flee. He was released from jail early Tuesday on $50,000 bail, about 9 1/2 hours after he was arrested, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's jail website.
Griffin, 23, was booked for felony battery, officer Norma Eisenman said, and is due in court on Feb. 25. Shiara Davila-Morales, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney, said her office declined to file a felony charge and passed the case on to the city attorney for review.
Eisenman said Griffen also received a citation early Saturday for public drunkenness.
Spokesmen for the NFL and the Vikings said those organizations would conduct their own investigations.
''We are aware of yesterday's alleged incident involving Everson Griffen,'' spokesman Jeff Anderson said. ''At this time, the team is gathering all the facts and will withhold any further comment.''
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league is looking into Griffen's situation. Griffen could face punishment, per the league's personal conduct policy.
Messages were left seeking comment from Jason Chinn, one of Griffen's representatives.
Griffen played for Southern California and was a fourth-round draft pick by the Vikings last year after skipping his senior season. He saw more playing time toward the end of his rookie season and finished with 11 tackles, also getting some action on special teams. He is in line to compete for a more significant role with starter Ray Edwards on the verge of free agency.
Griffen slipped from most pre-draft projections that pegged him as an earlier pick, and at the time the Vikings acknowledged his penchant for inconsistent play.
''There were games when he was a first-round pick and there were games when he would disappear,'' director of college scouting Scott Studwell said after the draft. ''But he's got great value where we took him, and I think he will blossom as a pro.''
Studwell also said then the Vikings had no concerns about Griffen's background.
''We are not worried about his character,'' Studwell said. ''He has to grow up a little bit like they all do.''
Griffen said after the draft he enjoyed the college life but he was ready for the pros.
''You learn from your mistakes,'' he said, ''and that's how you become an adult.''