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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Ex-Lions TE Brandon Pettigrew arrested after allegedly punching police officer

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Former Detroit Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew has not been able to find work since he was released in 2016, and some off-field trouble he got into early Monday morning could all but put an end to his playing career.

According to a report from Shelly Bradbury of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pettigrew was arrested for allegedly punching a police officer in the chest following a dispute with a limousine driver. The incident began when Pettigrew refused to pay a $97 fare for a ride he got to a hotel in downtown Pittsburgh. The driver ended up walking into the lobby of the hotel to call police after Pettigrew started arguing with him, and he left after officers explained that he could recoup his money in court once a report was filed.

Police say Pettigrew appeared visibly intoxicated, and he got physical with one officer before being threatened with a Taser and arrested. Here’s more:

Mr. Pettigrew refused to identify himself to officers, saying that he knew his constitutional rights. He was upset and kept getting close to the officers, according to the complaint. While “aggressively arguing” with police, Mr. Pettigrew then became “more upset” and moved toward the officers again.

Mr. Pettigrew punched Officer Patrick Fornadel three times in the chest, according to the complaint.

The officers drew their Tasers and ordered Mr. Pettigrew to step back and put his hands behind his back. Mr. Pettigrew then allowed himself to be handcuffed, and the officers did not fire the Tasers.

The police report goes on to state that Pettigrew was placed in a restraint chair when he was brought to a local jail because he refused to listen to orders. He was charged with two counts of aggravated assault, theft of services and public drunkenness.

Pettigrew, 33, was drafted with the No. 20 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. The former Oklahoma State star’s best NFL season was in 2011, when he caught 83 passes for 777 yards and five touchdowns.

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