Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Malik McDowell was arrested Monday in Florida on charges of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest with violence and public exposure, according to an online record from the Broward Sheriff's Office.
According to the arrest report, McDowell beat a deputy in a "violent attack" that left the officer "dazed" and fearing a "permanent injury" to his right eye. McDowell is being held on a $27,000 bond, according to the online record.
"We are aware of the very concerning incident and arrest involving Malik McDowell and are in the process of gathering more information," a Browns spokesperson said in a statement. "We understand the severity of this matter and our thoughts are for the well-being of all involved. We will have no further comment at this time."
According to the incident report, police in Deerfield Beach, Florida, reported getting a call of a naked man walking near a school, later to be determined as a children's learning center that was in session. When confronted, McDowell charged at police "full speed with closed fist," according to the report, leaving a deputy injured. The officer said he was unable to avoid McDowell's attack or use any "de-escalation tactics." McDowell slammed into the officer and punched him in the right eye and on the top of the head, according to the report.
McDowell then fled, but eventually was shocked with a Taser and handcuffed. The officer said his right eye was nearly closed because of swelling from the punches he absorbed in the attack and there is a "likelihood that I sustained permanent injury to my eye.''
The Seattle Seahawks selected McDowell out of Michigan State in the second round of the 2017 NFL draft. But before his first season, he suffered a head injury in an ATV accident. He never played a down for Seattle, which released him before training camp the following summer.
In 2019, McDowell was charged in Michigan with driving while impaired, obstructing justice and assaulting a police officer. Video showed McDowell fighting with police even after they stunned him with a Taser following a DUI stop. Two months later, he was found in possession of a stolen truck, leading to another charge of receiving and concealing stolen property. He was sentenced to 11 months in jail and three years' probation after pleading guilty to the series of crimes.
The Browns gave McDowell a second chance at football last year, with Cleveland general manager Andrew Berry noting that McDowell had been "accountable for his actions" and was "in a good place, personally and medically."
McDowell went on to win a starting job at defensive tackle for the Browns this past season, finishing with 33 tackles and three sacks.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.