Cal Football: Bears Linebacker Joseph Ogunbanjo Reportedly Arrested (Team Statement Added)
Cal outside linebacker Joseph Ogunbanjo was arrested over the weekend, Berkeleyside.com reported Monday.
According to the report, authorities said police arrested Ogunbanjo, 19, after he allegedly flagged down a Berkeley police officer, tried to grab his gun during a struggle and attempted to take his patrol vehicle.
The incident took place at around 1 a.m. Sunday near University Drive on the Cal campus.
Cal provided a statement Monday evening:
“We are aware of an incident involving Joseph Ogunbanjo, and the details as described by the Berkeley Police Department are troubling. While he is no longer a member of our football program, we remain concerned for his well-being.”
The Berkeley Police Department provided a statement of the incident to Berkeleyside, which read as follows:
“After starting a conversation with the officer at the driver’s side window, the man asked the officer about his handgun and whether or not he could drive the police vehicle. When the officer told the man that he could not drive the vehicle and directed him to step away from the police vehicle, the man forcibly opened the driver’s side door.”
Police told Berkeleyside that the officer got out of his vehicle and ordered Ogunbanjo to sit on the ground. After briefly sitting down, he walked toward the officer and grabbed him.
“The officer pushed the man away, but the man continued his attack — each time tightening his grasp,” police spokseman Byron White told Berkeleyside.
While the officer was attempting to handcuff Ogunbanjo, he allegedly attempted to grab the officer's holstered hand gun.
According to the report, police said Ogunbanjo elbowed the officer in the head and got into the driver’s seat of his patrol vehicle. When other officers arrived they were able to restrain him.
Berkeleyside reported that booking records indicate Ogunbanjo was held on $195,000 bail and is scheduled for arraignment Wednesday.
Ogunbanjo was arrested on suspicion of attempted carjacking, threatening violence on a police officer, attempting to remove an officer’s weapon and battery on a police officer.
The Cal football program had suspended Ogunbanjo indefinitely earlier this season, but head coach Justin Wilcox said recently that Ogunbanjo might be back with the team, pending some things Ogunbanjo needed to do to become an active member of the team again.
Ogunbanjo, a 6-foot-3, 240-pound sophomore outside linebacker, played in six games this season, had seven tackles and two quarterback hurries.
Cal learned on Sunday that it had been chosen to play in the Dec. 30 Red Box Bowl in Santa Clara against Illinois. The Bears begin practice on Friday in preparation for their bowl game.
The Bears won their final two regular-season games to finish the season 7-5 overall and 4-5 in the Pac-12.