Eagles player accused of assaulting Tempe officer - KCTV5 News

Eagles player accused of assaulting Tempe officer

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Keelan Johnson (Source: Tempe Police Department) Keelan Johnson (Source: Tempe Police Department)
(Source: Tempe Police Department) (Source: Tempe Police Department)

Philadelphia Eagles safety Keelan Johnson was arrested in Arizona early Saturday after he allegedly pushed a uniformed officer investigating a disturbance outside a Tempe bar. 

Johnson was booked into Tempe City Jail on charges of aggravated assault, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest in connection with the incident outside Zuma Grill at 605 S. Mill Ave. at around 2:05 a.m.

Police were arresting Johnson's "associate" on charges of fighting inside Zuma when Johnson "and his associates continued to yell over the officers conducting the interviews," according to a probable cause statement. 

The officer had been repeatedly telling Johnson and others to "get back" because they were interfering with an investigation. 

Mounted officers, blowing whistles, moved toward Johnson and gave several commands to "back up." When Johnson refused to move, uniformed police "used a directional contact with his right arm to Johnson's chest to get him to move back while giving him commands to move back," court paperwork stated.

Johnson obeyed but then started to move toward investigators again, police said. The officer "gave Johnson a directional contact with his single right arm in the chest while ordering him to 'back up,'" the court document said.

Johnson then "took an athletic stance and gave the victim a two-armed impact push to the victim's chest, striking him with great force, knocking him backwards," court paperwork stated.

Police told Johnson he was under arrested for assaulting a police officer and when they attempted to take him into custody, Johnson passively resisted, pulled away from the officer's grasps and threw his hands into the air and lifted his arms to shoulder level, according to the probable cause statement.

The officer continued to try to move Johnson's arms to his back but he refused to comply, police said. Four officers attempted to detain him and took Johnson to the ground. Once on the ground, Johnson placed his hands behind his back.

During police questioning, Johnson admitted to pushing a uniformed police officer "because the officer pushed him and he didn't feel the officers had a right to ask him, tell him, and then make him move from where he was standing," the court document said.

Johnson said he saw his associate, who he described as a "friend of a friend" who went to the bar with their group, beat up the bouncer inside the bar prior to the arrest, the court document stated.

According to court paperwork, Johnson appeared intoxicated.  

Police said the incident took place on a busy sidewalk inside of the Mill Avenue District, which is managed by the Downtown Tempe Community, a nonprofit organization which works in partnership with the businesses in the Mill Avenue District and the City of Tempe, in order to provide a safe environment for the patrons of the area.  

Johnson was a four-year letterman at Arizona State, appearing in 49 career games with 18 starts. He is a graduate of Mesa High School, where he was one of the top all-around athletes in the state.

He was signed to the Eagles active roster on Dec. 17, 2013.

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