The Mercedes Benz Superdome police officer that Odell Beckham Jr. smacked on the butt following LSU’s championship win over Clemson wanted to “punch” the Cleveland Browns wide receiver, but remained calm following the incident. According to nola.com, the 48-year-old lieutenant said his initial reaction was to hit Beckham, but he kept his cool. The site also said that the officer considered arresting Beckham, but chose not to “due to the jovial atmosphere of the locker room.” Instead, he notified the New Orleans Police Department the following day requesting to press charges.
The incident took place just before the officer was seen talking to LSU guard Damien Lewis. The officer had been ordered to enforce the arena’s no-smoking policy as he confronted some of the team’s players who were smoking cigars.
As previously reported, an arrest warrant was issued for Beckham for simple battery. However, law enforcement sources claimed that authorities initially wanted to pursue a warrant for a misdemeanor sexual battery charge. The judge denied the warrant. It was reissued as simple battery and approved by the judge.
The Cleveland Browns released a statement regarding the incident stating that they are cooperating with authorities. “We are aware of the incident and have been in touch with Odell and his representatives on the matter,” the statement read. “They are cooperating with the proper authorities to appropriately address the situation.”
Beckham has not spoken on the incident. Nola.com reports that as of Thursday (Jan. 16) the NFL player had neither surrendered to authorities, nor had he been arrested in connection with the battery warrant.
Meanwhile, per Louisiana law, simple battery is defined as “battery committed without the consent of the victim.” If convicted, Beckham can face up to six months in prison and a maximum fine of $1,000. The conviction is also expungeable for first-time offenders.