Clowney 'did nothing wrong'

Apparent mistaken identity leads to Five Points incident

jkendall@thestate.comMarch 25, 2011 

Jadeveon Clowney

South Carolina football signee Jadeveon Clowney was searched by Columbia police at around 2:30 a.m. Friday in the Five Points area of Columbia, he told The State.

“They stopped us and said we fit a description,” said Clowney, who said he was with South Pointe High teammate and fellow Gamecocks signee Gerald G. Dixon when he was stopped. “They said some guy called and said he got robbed and said (Clowney) had a gun. He said we fit the description.”

Clowney was searched and released, he said. Clowney also was handcuffed.

“Putting handcuffs on kids and all that and not identifying the situation is a little outrageous,” said Gerald Dixon Sr., Gerald G. Dixon’s father. “These kids are trying to come down there and go to school, and this is the impression they are getting.”

Gerald Dixon Sr., a former South Carolina football player, said he was upset that he and Clowney’s mother weren’t called about the incident even though both players are 18. Dixon Sr. knew the boys were in Columbia on Thursday night, he said. South Pointe High did not have school Friday.

“I gave them a talk about it this morning and said they are not to go out of York County anymore unless I know exactly what’s going on,” he said.

Columbia Chief of Police Randy Scott said Clowney was not drinking at the time of the incident and did nothing wrong. Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier defended the city’s police force for handcuffing Clowney and agreed the player did nothing wrong.

Columbia police officers were dispatched to the 2000 block of Greene Street after a 911 caller claimed to have been a victim of an armed robbery attempt involving a group of black males with long dreadlocks, according to statement released by the police department.

Clowney, Dixon and a third man briefly tried to elude the policemen who were seeking to question them but eventually were detained outside the nightclub Pavlov’s, the statement read. No weapons were found and the three were determined not to have been involved.

Pavlov’s is not supposed to admit customers below the age of 21 and the doorman was “terminated from that position,” Scott said.

Clowney said the police let him go quickly.

The police officer “said, ‘Oh, we got the wrong person, and he let us go,’” he said.

Clowney quickly ended his conversation with The State after being asked about being in the Five Points area at that time.

“I am just upset because there is stuff on the news about this,” he said. “I didn’t do nothing wrong. Yeah, I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but I didn’t have anything to do with (a robbery).”

The players believe someone filed a false report with the intent to harass them, said Dixon Sr., who pointed out that his 6-foot-2, 266-pound son and the 6-6, 252-pound Clowney are hard to misidentify.

Clowney “has been in the paper for the last year,” Dixon Sr. said. “It isn’t like nobody has ever seen him.”

Clowney was rated the No. 1 high school player in the country by every major recruiting service and was the subject of a heated recruiting battle between the Gamecocks, Alabama and Clemson. He signed with South Carolina on Feb. 14.

According to a statement from the police department, “multiple” people were arrested on charges of disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, drunkenness and hindering an officer due to their behavior while police were questioning Clowney and Dixon.

Columbia Police Incident Report

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