FORT MYERS, FL - August 27, 2020 - According to an online news report on the website wxyz.com, a professional football player for the Cincinnati Bengals has been arrested and charged with battery. The suspect was signed by the Bengals back in March after playing with the Minnesota Vikings in his first four seasons in the NFL. The man was arrested the same day law enforcement was searching for his missing father, and the professional athlete left the team. The Cincinnati Bengal was booked into the Collier County jail, according to the news report.
The 26-year-old man from Immokalee left his team during training camp when it was determined that his father had vanished while picking palmetto berries in Okeechobee County with another man.
NFL.com reported that the 26-year-old Immokalee native left training camp Tuesday after his father disappeared while picking palmetto berries with another man in Okeechobee County.
The 65-year-old man was walking and picking berried around the northwest area of Okeechobee County while the man's friend left the 65-year-old man behind, according to the Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office. On Wednesday, a news report on NFL.com stated that the professional athlete confronted his father the day before. This confrontation led to the pro football athlete's arrest.
A report provided by the Collier County Sheriff's Office and later obtained by WPTV showed that the Bengal and a man he had with him visit his father's home in Immokalee in order to discuss an incident that happened the day prior.
According to the suspect's father, the alleged victim, his son threatened him by stating that he had a firearm in his motor vehicle, and the victim needed to come with him and the other man. The victim stated that he continued to refuse his son's demand to leave with him and the other man. The report says that the victim told police that the other man held him while his son punched him in the face numerous times.
The suspect then called 911 from his Fort Myers home and reported to the dispatcher that two individuals were attacking his father. The suspect then allegedly told the dispatcher that another incident had occurred yesterday. The suspect stated that he thought someone disappeared, and his father was with the man who disappeared.
According to Michelle Bell, a spokeswoman for the Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office, the search for the father is ongoing, and the location of the search is near the Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park.
According to the Collier County Sheriff's Office, a Collier County Sheriff's helicopter plus many other people have been searching for the father on the ground using horses and all-terrain vehicles.
The suspect has been charged with battery, and other charges may be brought as the Collier County Sheriff's Office continues their search and investigation into the criminal case and disappearance of the victim.