|Browns' Bodden expects to play in opener following arrest|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 06 September 2007 08:00|
Bodden pleaded not guilty Thursday to misdemeanor charges of aggravated disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. He was arrested a day earlier after police accused him of driving in reverse down a one-way street and becoming verbally abusive outside Hopkins International Airport, where he said he was picking up his family.
``You all know there are two sides to every story,'' Bodden said before Thursday's practice. ``Right now I can't comment on my side. My attorney will handle that. It's unfortunate that this is a distraction before the Steelers game.''
Bodden, who apologized to his coaches and teammates, said he's not concerned about any possible fine or suspension from the league, which has instituted a tougher player-conduct policy in the wake of commissioner Roger Goodell's crackdown on misbehavior by players.
``I'm not concerned about it at all,'' Bodden said. ``The legal system will handle it. The league will handle it, and there's nothing I can do about it but play football, and that's what I'm going to do.''
The NFL's conduct policy states that players can face disciplinary measures for offenses such as those Bodden is charged with. It says, ``persons who fail to live up to this standard of conduct are guilty of conduct detrimental and subject to discipline, even where the conduct itself does not result in conviction of a crime.''
Bodden, 25, refused to stop the 2004 GMC Yukon he was driving when initially approached by an officer at the airport, police Lt. Thomas Stacho said. According to police, Bodden eventually pulled the vehicle to a curb, got out and walked toward an airport entrance.
Bodden became verbally abusive with the officer, who called for police backup, Stacho said.
Responding officers instructed Bodden to place his hands on a wall, which he did, but the situation became tense when the football player began to resist officers trying to place handcuffs on him, Stacho said.
Bodden later complied with police and was taken to a city jail. He spent five hours in jail before he was released early Thursday on a $1,000 bond. He also faces traffic charges of failing to produce a driver's license and driving the wrong way on a one-way street, Stacho said.
Bodden's attorney, Matthew Selby, entered the not guilty plea, and his next court appearance was set for Sept. 25. The charges carry a sentence of up to six months in jail.
Browns coach Romeo Crennel, who called the incident ``a little run in with the law,'' said he had not yet spoken with Bodden before his news conference. Crennel said he expects to have Bodden for Sunday's game and that he'll wait until he has all the facts before commenting further.
Bodden was limited to nine starts last season because of ankle problems and had offseason ankle surgery. He signed with the Browns as an undrafted free agent in 2003, and the club signed him to a four-year contract extension in 2005.
Associated Press writer M.R. Kropko contributed to this report.