COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Former Ohio State football star Maurice Clarett was sprayed with pepper spray and struck after he
surrendered following an early morning chase last week, his lawyer
"It is our contention that both of those things occurred after
he was in handcuffs," said attorney Michael Hoague, who added that
his client obeyed police commands.
Hoague is representing Clarett in an unrelated robbery trial
that was to start Monday but postponed until September when a judge
ordered a psychiatric evaluation after Clarett's latest arrest.
Officers said Clarett was driving erratically when they tried to
pull him over Wednesday. He refused to get out of the sport utility
vehicle he was driving, prompting several officers to remove him by
force, police said.
Clarett was wearing a bulletproof vest that rendered stun guns
ineffective. It took several officers to handcuff him, and he
kicked at the doors of a van he was placed in and spit at officers,
prompting them to put a mask over his mouth, police said.
Hoague claimed Clarett was compliant throughout.
During the pursuit, Clarett called his mother and fiancee to
tell them he loved them. He asked his mother to call his lawyer,
"A person who calls his loved ones to say, 'I'm about to go to
jail,' does not have the mind-set to put up a fight," Hoague said,
adding that Clarett laid on the ground when he surrendered.
Messages seeking comment from Columbus police detectives and
public information officers weren't immediately returned Sunday.
Hoague also said a blow to the face bloodied Clarett's lip and
that he was trying to clear his mouth of blood and pepper spray,
not spit at police.
Clarett was charged with carrying a concealed weapon after
officers found three semiautomatic handguns and an assault rifle,
all loaded, in the SUV.
He was heading to a hotel room with items he had collected from
his fiancee's mother's house when he was pulled over, Hoague said.
"He had everything from his clothes to his high school diploma
in the car" as he tried to get his affairs in order for the
upcoming trial, Hoague said.
Clarett's arrest prompted a Franklin County Common Pleas Judge
David Fais to raise his bond to $1.1 million in the robbery case,
in which he is accused of holding up two people outside a downtown
bar on New Year's Day. Bond for the concealed weapons charge was
set at $5 million, which Clarett's attorneys said he most likely
wouldn't be able to pay.
As a freshman, Clarett scored the winning touchdown in the
second overtime of the Fiesta Bowl against Miami to lead Ohio State
to the 2002 national championship, but was suspended for the
following season after being charged with falsely reporting a theft
After dropping out of school, Clarett unsuccessfully challenged
the NFL's draft eligibility rule. The Denver Broncos made him a
surprise third-round pick the following year but cut him during