Browns release rookie LB Auscar Walcott after arrest on attempted murder charges
Walcott was arrested for punching a man outside a bar in Passaic, New Jersey, authorities told The Record (Bergen County).
The incident occurred just after The Palace Gentlemen's Club closed at about 3 a.m. Sunday, when Walcott punched Derrick Jones, a New York native, in the head, according to Passaic police detective Andrew White. The victim remained hospitalized in critical condition at the Harlem Hospital Center in Manhattan.
The 6-foot-2, 230-pound Walcott was charged with first-degree attempted murder, second-degree aggravated assault and third-degree endangering an injured victim, said Salvatore Bellomo, a senior assistant prosecutor. Walcott turned himself in on Tuesday morning after he was identified as a suspect in the incident by the police, according to the report.
He was booked into the Passaic County Jail in Paterson, N.J, jail records show. His bail was set at $500,000. Walcott’s earliest appearance in court is scheduled for a Thursday morning hearing.
The 23-year-old Walcott was released only a month after he was initially signed as an undrafted free agent by the Browns on May 15, following an earlier tryout with the team. He spent the past month working out with the Browns in Northeast Ohio. Walcott was allowed to return home along with the rest of the Browns’ undrafted rookies on June 20, three days prior to the bar incident.
The Browns initially released a statement Wednesday morning saying: “We are aware of the situation. This is a pending legal matter, and we will not comment.”
However, later the same day, the Browns decided rather not deal with any distractions Walcott’s criminal charges could bring on this offseason and opted to cut him. As an undrafted rookie out of Virginia, Walcott was already expected to face an uphill battle to earn his spot on the Browns’ 53-man roster.
Walcott’s release comes on the day when the Browns’ five drafted rookies attended the NFL’s Rookie Symposium, which includes four days of seminars and meetings designed to prepare the drafted first-year players for life as an NFL player and lessons about how to stay out of trouble. Undrafted rookies however were not invited to the symposium.
Walcott’s run-in with the law marks the second arrest of a Browns rookie this offseason. Seventh-round pick Armonty Bryant was arrested in Oklahoma for driving under the influence of alcohol, less than a week after the Browns selected him in April’s draft.