Davone Bess arrest reveals troubled world of the former Dolphins receiver

01/18/2014 12:00 AM

09/08/2014 7:02 PM

The police report detailing Davone Bess' alleged assault of a deputy at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Friday depicts an unstable, violent man, likely on drugs.

It's the same condition in which authorities discovered Bess, the former Dolphins receiver, in his Cooper City home 10 months earlier — and the reason his family had him hospitalized against his will.

Six BSO deputies were needed that night to restrain Bess, who was screaming, “Hide the guns!” “Where is my weed?” and “I want to get in the end zone; throw me the football!” according to the incident report.

Word of Bess’ prior meltdown was never made public until now.

A month after his hospitalization, the Dolphins traded him to the Cleveland Browns, where he remains to this day. A team spokesman said the Browns are aware of the situation and are working to gather more information.

Bess, 28, already had drawn scrutiny in recent days for two pictures of what appears to be marijuana that he posted on Twitter.

Then on Friday, his problems worsened. Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested him at the airport, charging him with assault, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest without violence.

Here’s what happened, according to the report:

Early in the morning, Bess was seen walking down the airport concourse “acting irrationally” — singing and dancing with his pants falling down.

When BSO deputy Thomas O’Brien, who works the airport detail, approached Bess, the football player crushed a cup of coffee on him and got into a fighting stance.

O’Brien, fearing for his safety, struck Bess in the leg with his baton. It apparently had no effect. Bess took off his shirt and got back into a fighting stance.

Finally, after backup arrived, Bess surrendered and was taken into custody. The deputy believes Bess was on drugs.

“He appeared to be looking through me when I was talking to him,” O’Brien wrote.

CBS-4 Miami caught up with Bess, who had bonded out of jail, and asked what he plans to do next.

“Get back to helping kids all over the world,” said Bess, the Miami Dolphins’ 2011 Walter Payton Man of the Year, an award that honors players for their work away from the field.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported late Friday that Bess has been dealing with personal issues for some time, including insomnia, and was trying to catch a flight back home to seek help.

That jibes with the police report from March 11, 2013, unearthed by The Miami Herald.

On that night, BSO was called to Bess' Cooper City home. When the first deputy arrived, he noted a strong smell of cannabis coming from the master bedroom. The deputy also observed several males trying to restrain an agitated, incoherent Bess, who was trying to throw them off. He started screaming about guns and drugs and football. Efforts by fire rescue to sedate him were unsuccessful.

Finally, a half-dozen cops were able to pin him down. Bess was taken to Memorial East Hospital for observation.

Bess' mother, Chinell Carpenter, had flown in that day from California after receiving a call that her son was not acting like himself. She said then that Bess had not slept in three days and was going through some serious personal issues. Carpenter added that Bess had no prior psychiatric history and was on no medication.

Bess was once hailed as a true redemption story. Raised in a rough part of Oakland, he witnessed the murder of his uncle at age 10.

Years later, he was sent to juvenile detention for his role in a theft and lost his scholarship to Oregon State. He straightened out his life, and and went on to star at the University of Hawaii.

The Dolphins took a chance on him as an undrafted rookie out of college, and he went on to catch 321 passes in his five years with the team.

In late 2012, he and the coaching staff had a falling out, and the Dolphins ultimately traded him to the Browns during draft weekend in 2013. Those close to him say he has since had trouble at home. He had a league-high 14 drops this season and missed the final two games to deal with a personal emergency in Oakland.

Since then, his behavior has grown even more erratic.

For the time being at least, the Browns are stuck with Bess. League rules prohibit teams from cutting players until the day after the Super Bowl.

Dolphins receiver Brandon Gibson, Bess’ teammate for a brief time and his de facto replacement on the field, tweeted out the following Friday: “Praying for my bro DB.”

Miami Herald sports writer Armando Salguero contributed to this report.

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