Aaron Berry's second arrest could be costly
Aaron Berry added pounds and muscle in the offseason to increase his durability which has been an issue during his first two seasons as a cornerback with the Detroit Lions.
That might not matter at all now.
Berry, who was projected as a starting corner, was arrested Saturday for his second time in a month. This time it was for simple assault involving a firearm in Harrisburg, Pa. On June 23 he was arrested for suspicion of drunk driving, also in Harrisburg.
Clearly, he could be suspended by the league if the Lions don’t take matters into their own hands.
The team issued this statement on Sunday morning: “We are extremely disappointed by the reports involving Aaron Berry. We are currently gathering more information and will have further comment when appropriate.’’
It’s the seventh arrest in the offseason for the Lions. Two for Berry, two for Nick Fairley (drunk driving and marijuana possession, two for Mikel Leshoure (both marijuana possession) and one for Johnny Culbreath (marijuana possession).
Although no arrests were involved there was a locker room incident involving Titus Young punching teammate Louis Delmas.
And it was revealed this week that Corey Williams was arrested for drunk driving 13 months ago during the NFL lockout.
At some point, the Lions have to take a stand and release players who don’t live up to NFL standards.
Will Berry be the first? It’s certainly possible.
Lions’ management needs to show the fans that they hold the players accountable.
Cpl. Kyle Gautsch of the Harrisburg Police Department told the Associated Press that Berry was taken into custody early Saturday morning on three charges of simple assault. Gautsch said there “was a weapon allegedly brandished during the incident.’’
Anthony Pinzone, who writes on the Miami Dolphins fan blog Phinfever.com, claims in a blog posted on Sunday that he and two buddies who were visiting Harrisburg were Berry’s victims.
He wrote: “I’m visiting family in PA and was out at the bars in Harrisburg last night. At the end of the night as my buddies and I are walking back to the car we nearly get hit by this guy backing out of a parking spot.
“Naturally we were yelling to get his attention so we wouldnt get hit. Well next thing we know theyre rolling down the back window and the front passenger points a laser at us and tells us to back away.
“The one friend and I just brushed it off and kept walking after the car left only to turn around and see our other friend frantically running up to a cop. Turns out that laser was attached to a glock 45... my friend being a gun enthusiast was able to describe the weapon exactly and they caught the car just a block away.’’
He wrote that after they filled out police reports the policeman told them it was Berry, although it sounds suspicious that Berry’s name would be released.
“The scariest moment in my life thus far came at the hands of a player from the sport Im most passionate about. Go figure,’’ Pinzone wrote.
Berry was signed by the Lions as an undrafted free agent out of Pittsburgh. He earned the starting role as a rookie, but was injured in his first game (the Calvin Johnson game at Chicago) and missed the rest of that 2010 season.
He played in 11 games last season and started in weeks 12, 13 and 14 before he injured his shoulder again.
During minicamp, defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham joked that Berry weighed 190 pounds, up from his original 115. Cunningham was excited about Berry in June, before his two arrests.
Other options for the Lions at cornerback opposite Chris Houston are Alphonso Smith, Jacob Lacey, who was signed as a free agent, and three rookies — Bill Bentley (Louisiana-Lafayette), Jonte Green (New Mexico State) and Chris Greenwood (Albion).
Rookies and injured players report for training camp on Monday. The remaining players report on Thursday. The first training camp session is set for Friday.
(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. To pre-order her upcoming book, click here: “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die.”)