Warrant for Odell Beckham Jr. rescinded in butt-swat case
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A misdemeanor simple battery warrant for Cleveland Browns wide receiver and former LSU star Odell Beckham Jr. has been rescinded, the New Orleans Police Department confirmed Saturday.
The warrant was issued Thursday as video posted on social media appeared to show Beckham swatting a security officer’s buttocks during LSU’s locker room victory celebration after Monday night’s college national championship game in the Superdome.
LSU players were seen smoking cigars — forbidden in the Superdome — in pictures from the post-game celebration. Authorities reportedly warned them they could face arrest.
In a 27-second video available on Twitter, a security officer is seen standing over an LSU player sitting on a locker room bench. The officer appears to be searching around the bench and pointing to the floor. He can be heard talking about a “burn mark” just before Beckham approaches him from behind and appears to swat his backside.
“The security officer in the incident involving Odell Beckham Jr. has decided to drop the charge,” the department’s public information office said in an email.
“Absent a complaining witness, this is not a case our office intends to pursue,” Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro said in a statement.
Beckham has also come under scrutiny over his apparent cash payments to Tigers players on the field after the game.
LSU athletics spokesman Michael Bonnette said last week that initial information suggested that Beckham handed out “novelty bills” to players, but further investigation showed that Beckham may have given away real money, Bonnette said.′
The NCAA does not allow players to receive cash benefits while playing college football. Those rules are designed to prevent institutions from luring talent through the promise of direct or indirect payments.
Beckham, 27, starred for LSU from 2011 to 2013 and was a first-round draft pick by the New York Giants. He was traded to Cleveland before last season.
The three-time Pro Bowler played most of the season with a sports hernia injury that may require surgery. Despite not being completely healthy, he still played in all 16 games and finished with 74 catches for 1,035 yards. However, he had just four touchdowns, his fewest in a full season.
The flashy wide receiver was fined by the NFL for wearing an expensive watch during a game and was asked by officials to change his helmet visor as well as cleats that did not conform to league rules.
Late in the season, as the Browns were falling from playoff contention, Beckham dismissed reports he was telling opposing players to “come get me” during games. Beckham said he had no intention of leaving the Browns and was committed to helping them win while playing alongside Jarvis Landry, his best friend and former college teammate.