FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Sheldon Richardson had vowed to his teammates that he'd never be in a newspaper again for his bad decisions. He vehemently denied that he is a "dope fiend." But hours after Richardson talked with reporters, a Missouri prosecutor announced that the Jets defensive lineman, who already has been suspended four games after testing positive for marijuana, has been charged with resisting arrest and a host of traffic violations stemming from an alleged July 14 road race that took place with a 12-year-old in the car.
St. Charles County prosecutor Tim Lohmar released a statement Thursday that said that Richardson, driving a 2014 Bentley Silver Spur on Interstate 64, was clocked at speeds as high as 143 mph and was racing another car when police attempted to pull him over. Richardson then allegedly sped up, exited, turned off his lights and ran a red light to avoid arrest.
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Police allege that Richardson lost control of his car while fleeing and that the rear of the vehicle veered into oncoming traffic.See alsoRead the probable cause statement
Police caught up to Richardson when he turned into a driveway and, according to the probable cause statement, saw him reach toward something near his feet. A loaded gun later was recovered in that area, police said. The car reeked of marijuana, they said. Along with the 12-year-old, Richardson had two men with him, according to the statement.
"I smelled a very strong odor of burned marijuana emanating from the vehicle and all passengers smelled of burned marijuana," the statement said.
Resisting arrest is a Class A misdemeanor that can lead to up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine.
Richardson is scheduled to be arraigned at St. Charles County circuit court on Oct. 27.
The Jets had no knowledge of the arrest until they saw media reports, a source said.
"We are aware of the situation and are gathering information," the team said Thursday night. "This is a pending legal matter and we will have no further comment at this time."
A league spokesman said the NFL is looking into the matter.
It was a bizarre turn from only hours earlier, when a contrite-looking Richardson said he took full accountability for testing positive for marijuana in the offseason. He had to have tested positive at least twice to be suspended, according to the league's drug policy.
"I'm not a dope fiend," he said after the first day of practice. "I can say no, I just chose not to. I was in a depressing time in my offseason and that's just it. It's just that simple. There's money on the line and my money is worth more than some weed.
"I take full accountability for my actions," he added. "I apologized to my teammates and my organization and I told them they don't have to worry about my name being in the news again."
The 2013 Defensive Rookie of the Year said he was "a little disappointed and embarrassed, for my parents' sake. When an NFL player messes up, the whole world knows about it. The family goes through a lot. People at work don't know how to talk to them anymore."
Richardson, who is allowed to practice at training camp, took reps on the second team, his first-team spot taken by first-round draft pick Leonard Williams.
Coach Todd Bowles, apparently unaware of the arrest, said the team had "come to grips with" not having Richardson for a quarter of the season.
"Hopefully he'll get help with his problem, and with practice every day, we'll get him in shape and it should be a good lesson for him," Bowles said. "I'm sure his parents are as disappointed as anybody and he understands that and his actions will speak louder than his words."