London Fletcher criticized Cleveland Browns Stadium security for escalating an incident Sunday involving members of his family, which tainted the Washington Redskins linebacker’s first NFL game in his hometown.
Five men were arrested on charges of assaulting a police officer, aggravated riot and resisting arrest, according to a Cleveland Police Department report. It’s unclear which of the men, Jermaine T. Robinson, Asu A. Robinson, Devonte D. Robinson, Michael George and Terence B. Woods, are related to Fletcher. He said Monday morning on NFL Network that four relatives were arrested.
According to the police report, Jermaine T. Robinson taunted Browns fans and began running toward the field and arguing with Sgt. James Neal, saying that he was related to Fletcher. When Neal decided to eject Robinson from the stadium for fan conduct violations, the report said Yvette Houston, Fletcher’s aunt, and Asu Robinson tried to grab Neal as he was attempting to grab Jermaine Robinson to take him out of the stadium.
Asu Robinson pushed Neal, punched him to the ground and kicked and punched him on the ground, then verbally berated him, the police report said. When Asu Robinson got away, Woods and George began pushing Neal to keep him from getting to Robinson, according to the report.
It was at that point, with the assistance of other officers, that Asu Robinson was arrested. Concurrently, the “riot moved into the concourse area” where the other four men were arrested for their involvement, according to the report.
The charge of simple assault of a police officer is a felony. According to the report, each man was under the influence of alcohol. There was no mention of the use of a Taser, which had been previously reported by WEWS, the ABC-TV affiliate in Cleveland.
Fletcher said he understood to some extent that Browns fans would give his family members a hard time for wearing Redskins jerseys and hats but took issue with how stadium security handled the situation.
“What led to the whole ruckus was something that happened with stadium security where as opposed to diffusing the situation, they were more instigators,” Fletcher said on a conference call Monday. “They didn’t defuse the situation. It wasn’t even with the fans at that point in time. It was just, I think, one of the stadium workers, I don’t know, he just went overboard with what his job responsibilities were.”
Fletcher had about 48 people at the game, which was his 238th consecutive game played.
“I purchased 42 tickets for the game and the Browns accommodated, giving us pretty good seats for the game, too. I guess the stadium security was questioning how’d they get those seats and stuff like that,” Fletcher said.
“It was a big deal for the entire game, just kind of harassed [them] a lot one way or another.”
Fletcher said a 13-year-old cousin got hit in the face with an object before the game.
“Things like that, it gets [to] a point where you take it too far,” he said. “It was going too far, went too far.”
Fletcher was happy about the result but did not hear about the incident until after the game.
“It was an unfortunate situation, put a damper on an otherwise great homecoming, being able to get a win, things like that,” Fletcher said. “It was definitely not a good finish to the [Sunday’s] events.”