Colts safety Lefeged arrested on gun charge in DC

Indianapolis Colts' Joe Lefeged watches from the sidelines

Indianapolis Colts' Joe Lefeged watches from the sidelines during the second quarter of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans in Houston. Police say Lefeged has been arrested on gun-related charges after a traffic stop in Washington, D.C., early Saturday morning. (December 6, 2012) (Credit: AP)

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WASHINGTON - Indianapolis Colts safety Joe Lefeged was arrested early Saturday after officers found an unregistered semi-automatic pistol gun in the car he was riding in, police said.

Lefeged was a passenger in a Chevrolet Camaro that fled a traffic stop for speeding in northeast Washington just after midnight Saturday. Officers smelled marijuana in the car and found a container of vodka and orange juice in the center console and a semi-automatic pistol under the front passenger seat, police documents show. A receipt shows Lefeged bought the gun this year for about $900, police said.

Lefeged and another passenger were caught when they tried to run from the car in different directions, police said. The driver got away.

Court records show Lefeged has been charged with carrying an unlicensed pistol and was being held until a preliminary hearing Tuesday.

A lawyer listed as representing him did not return a call seeking comment Saturday afternoon.

"We are aware of the reports regarding Joe Lefeged in Washington, D.C. At this time, we will have no further comment on the pending matter until we gain more information," the Colts said in a statement Saturday.

Police say officers stopped the car for speeding and because one passenger, identified as 23-year-old Aaron Wilson, was standing upright in the backseat of the convertible. After police told the driver to put the car in park, the driver sped off, nearly striking the officers, the court records show.

Police say they recovered the car nearby and arrested Lefeged as he tried to run away. They found a .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun "in plain view sticking out from underneath the front passenger seat."

Lefeged, 25, grew up outside of Washington and was a star high school football player in the region. Now entering his third NFL season, he played college football at Rutgers and was signed by the Colts in July 2011 as an undrafted free agent. He started four games last season and recorded two tackles and a forced fumble in a playoffs loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

The arrest comes as the NFL grapples with gun violence. Tight end Aaron Hernandez was charged this week with orchestrating the execution-style slaying of a semi-pro football player and was quickly released by the New England Patriots.

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