OU player arrested after stop at closed gas station

Updated: September 1, 2007, 2:14 AM ET
Associated Press

NORMAN, Okla. -- Police arrested a University of Oklahoma freshman football player early Friday on an accusation that he tried to steal gasoline from a convenience store pump.

Ryan Broyles, 19, was booked into the Cleveland County Detention Center at 12:10 a.m. on attempted larceny accusations and was released at 3:44 a.m. after posting $200 cash bond.

A police officer saw him at a closed gasoline station. He had a key and codes with which the pump could be activated, police Capt. Leonard Judy said. The key was in the pump.

The officer contacted the owner of the business, former Norman Mayor Ron Henderson, and confirmed that Broyles did not work there and never has.

By overriding the pump's access code, gasoline can be pumped without the electronic meter detecting it, Henderson told The Oklahoman. The difference between the meter and actual inventory, he said, wouldn't be known until someone manually took a tank reading.

"We've been experiencing shortages for several months and we've been trying to figure out where the problem might be," Henderson said. "We thought maybe we're losing gas in the tanks or in the underground lines. Never once did we dream it could be theft related."

Henderson said he is unsure how anyone could get a key because neither he nor his employees have one. He also said he doesn't know whether the alleged attempt was an isolated incident.

Henderson said his tanks were tested for leaks to come up with a cause for the gasoline losses.

A juvenile who was in the vehicle with Broyles was cited for a curfew violation, police said.

Broyles was an all-state selection at Norman High School last season. He had 44 receptions of 908 yards and rushed for 345. He also scored 20 touchdowns. Broyles was listed as the second-team wide receiver on OU's depth chart for Saturday's season opener against North Texas.

"We are aware of a matter involving Ryan Broyles," coach Bob Stoops said in a statement. "Effective immediately, Ryan is suspended from the team for an indefinite period of time. I take very seriously the conduct of our players, and I will not compromise my expectations for anyone associated with our program."

Broyles orally committed to play at Oklahoma State in the fall but changed his mind in the week leading up to signing day.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press