FOX 2 - A bystander recorded Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Malik McDowell charging a Florida sheriff’s deputy while naked.
It all happened in Deerfield Beach, about 40 miles north of Miami on Monday. McDowell allegedly attacked responding officers after 911 dispatchers got a call about a naked man running around a neighborhood – even walking onto the property of a children’s learning center.
"It was scary I don’t know what happened," said witness Linda Legunn. "I don’t know why he was in that state of mind."
McDowell’s defense attorney, Adam Swickle, argued he might have been drugged before the incident, in court Tuesday.
"Apparently somebody may have slipped him something or given him something that he was unaware of which explains some of his bizarre behavior," Swickle said.
McDowell is charged with aggravated battery, resisting an officer and exposing himself in public.
"I spoke with the deputy this morning the bruising and swelling as gotten worse since this incident, he’s still having trouble walking as a result of this incident," said the prosecutor during the hearing.
Experts say McDowell could also face a civil lawsuit.
"Many times throughout history what we’ve seen are, (famous) people being charged with crimes, and what they’ll do is, they may reduce them," said retired Judge Vonda Evans. "And sometimes, even dismiss them, in exchange for a civil suit where that person becomes monetarily responsible."
McDowell is currently on probation after a run-in with police in Lathrup Village in 2019. He was charged with assaulting an officer and operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.
McDowell was a star player at Southfield High School and a highly-touted Michigan State University recruit.
Therapist Dr. Sabrina Jackson says the episode in Florida smacks of mental breakdown.
"The fact that he was walking around naked, around children, yeah, that’s not normal," she said. "So when you talk about getting a person assessed for a mental challenge or a mental break, one of the things is they’re a danger to themselves, they’re a danger to others or a danger to property.
"So he was definitely a danger to himself and a danger to other people."