March 11–NORMAN — Wearing a gray, soy-sauce-stained hoodie, Baker Mayfield stood in handcuffs in front of a Fayetteville (Ark.) police car in the early hours of Feb. 25.
While the officers began working through protocol to take Mayfield to the Washington County jail on a misdemeanor complaint of disorderly conduct, public intoxication, fleeing, and resisting arrest, the Oklahoma quarterback tearfully repeated, “What did I do wrong?” over and over, not talking to anyone in particular.
It was an inner monologue spoken aloud, incredulity mixed with instant regret.
And though he wasn’t being asked directly, a Fayetteville police officer standing near Mayfield answered.
“You were yelling,” said the officer, as shown in one of the two dashcam videos released by the Fayetteville Police Department Friday afternoon. “And then when I told you to stop, you took off running.”
Minutes earlier, Mayfield had been standing on the sidewalk of Dickson St. in Fayetteville while the officers talked to another man who flagged them down to report an assault that apparently stemmed from stolen Chinese food. As the officers spoke with the first man, Mayfield stood off to the side, loudly cursing about the situation.
“Dude, if you don’t keep your mouth down, you’re going to jail right now,” the officer said. “If I hear you cuss one more time or yell at her …’
Mayfield quickly responded that he was done.
Once the officers turned their attention to Mayfield a couple seconds later and asked him to come speak with them, Mayfield began to walk away, his stride quickly turning into a sprint. He didn’t make it more than four steps down the sidewalk before officer Scott Brand tackled Mayfield into a short retaining wall to the left of the sidewalk.
Mayfield slammed into the wall first before landing on the sidewalk under the weight of Brand while two more officers stood around him to assist Brand.
As the officers tried to handcuff him, Mayfield yelled, “I’m done, I’m done,” but he initially didn’t comply with their order to put his hands behind his back.
“Are you kidding me?” Mayfield repeatedly yelled in exasperated disbelief, laying on the ground. “I didn’t do anything.”
Though, again, Mayfield wasn’t addressing anyone in particular, an officer answered him, “No, you’re just the dumba — who tried to run. That was stupid.”
Mayfield began weeping, his belligerent demeanor fading to an apologetic attitude. He continued to cry and apologize over and over as he was searched, photographed and put in the back of the police car.
By the off-camera conversation had after Mayfield was in the car, it appears the officers didn’t know who they arrested until they got his information from his girlfriend.
“By the way he’s the quarterback for OU.”
“He is … Is he really?”
“That’s what his girlfriend said.”
“He’s not very fast.”
The 28-minute dashcam video of the incident then ends on Mayfield sitting in the back of patrol car.
“Am I going to jail?” Mayfield asked.
“Yeah, you’re going to jail,” the officer responded.
Mayfield was released the next morning on a $1,535 bond.
Mayfield, who faces an April 7 court date, posted a long apology to friends, family, teammates and Sooner fans three days later to his Twitter account, calling the incident the biggest mistake of his life.
“Even though my mistake is one that I will forever regret, it does not and will not define who I am,” he wrote. ” … I will one day be somebody you can all be proud to say you watched grow up right before your own eyes.
“I wish I could individually apologize to every single person that I have affected. Just know that I am extremely sorry. I will earn your respect back and prove that I can handle myself in every situation, on and off the field.”
By Brooke Pryor, The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City
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