Buffalo Bills defensive back Donte Whitner was shocked with a stun gun and arrested by officers trying to control a rowdy crowd outside a Cleveland nightclub, police said.
Whitner, 23, was jailed early Saturday on suspicion of aggravated disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, Lt. Thomas Stacho said. Whitner was released later Saturday and hadn't been charged, police said. A prosecutor was to decide whether to file charges.
Police shocked and handcuffed Whitner outside the House of Blues after he forced his way past them and then broke free from officers trying to restrain him, Stacho said.
Stacho said police heard reports that Miami Dolphins wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. was having a birthday party at the downtown Cleveland venue but couldn't confirm whether Whitner was attending. Whitner and Ginn were high school teammates in Cleveland and played at Ohio State.
It was unclear why Whitner tried to leave the club and head for the melee, though he told officers, "My cousin's out there, and they've got guns," according to a police report, Stacho said.
Whitner said in a statement released through his agent, Neil Cornrich, that he regrets the incident: "It's not how I wish to conduct myself, and I apologize to all those involved."
A Bills spokesman said Saturday the team wouldn't comment on Whitner's situation until it had more information.
Whitner is the third Bills player to run into trouble with the law this year.
Police in South Carolina say they arrested safety Ko Simpson outside a bar in his hometown, Rock Hill, early New Year's Day when he interfered with officers trying to arrest his friends. Simpson's lawyer wouldn't discuss the case, and a prosecutor said the player had asked to enter a program that would remove a hindering police charge from his record.
Running back Marshawn Lynch was arrested near Los Angeles in February when police found a weapon in a parked car in which he was a passenger. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge and was sentenced to community service and probation. The NFL also suspended Lynch for three games without pay for violating the league's personal-conduct policy.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press