Spellman arrested after chase with police

Updated: January 29, 2008, 6:23 PM ET
Associated Press

TULSA, Okla. -- Former NFL player Alonzo Spellman was arrested Tuesday after Tulsa police fired pepper-spray pellets into his car following a nearly 20-minute chase.

Spellman was booked into the Tulsa County Jail on complaints of eluding, assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer, resisting arrest and driving without a license, jail records show. His bond was set at $10,700 and Spellman remained jailed early Tuesday evening.

The chase began at 12:23 p.m. after officers responded to a disturbance at a convenience store in midtown Tulsa, police spokesman Leland Ashley said. When officers arrived, Spellman got into a green Chrysler Pacifica and drove away, Ashley said.

"He took us on a little pursuit through the city," Ashley said. "We had to use stop sticks that took out three of his tires."

After the vehicle stopped, the 36-year-old Spellman refused to get out of the car for about 20 minutes until officers fired "pepper bullets" through the windows.

Ashley said he's unaware of Spellman's ties to the Tulsa community or whether he has an attorney.

The 6-foot-4, 300-pound Spellman was a first-round draft choice out of Ohio State for the Chicago Bears in 1992. He played nine seasons in the NFL for the Bears, Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys, recording 43 sacks in 123 games and leading the Bears with eight sacks during the 1996 season.

Spellman has a history of treatment for mental illness and was hospitalized for psychiatric evaluation after his involvement in a standoff with police at the home of his publicist in 1998.

He was sentenced to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty in 2003 to interfering with the crew of a Delta Air Lines flight from Cincinnati to Philadelphia.

Prosecutors said Spellman cursed and shouted for the duration of the July 23, 2002, flight, made crude comments to female passengers, threatened to open a cabin door and threatened the pilot.

Spellman was ordered to spend three months in a rehabilitation center upon his release and to undergo psychological counseling.

In October 2005, Spellman agreed to a contract with the Las Vegas Gladiators of the Arena Football League.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press