Vikings player had rights violated during arrest, agent says

Tom Johnson
Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Tom Johnson (92) talks with defensive tackle Kheeston Randall (79) during an NFL organized training activity in Eden Prairie, Minn., Wednesday, June 11, 2014.
Ann Heisenfelt / AP

The agent for Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Tom Johnson, who was arrested for trespassing and disorderly conduct early Sunday in Minneapolis, said officers violated his rights and committed battery during the arrest.

In a statement sent out Tuesday, Johnson's agent, Bardia Ghahremani with International Sports Agency of Irvine, Calif., said he believes Johnson will be cleared of the charges and that they "will move forward with proper legal actions" once they investigate the incident.

Police said Johnson was repeatedly asked at 2:25 a.m. to leave Seven Steakhouse and Lounge. Police also said he was uncooperative and resisted officers. The officers pepper-sprayed him and forced him outside, where he was also stunned with a Taser.

Ghahremani's statement said that around 2 a.m., Johnson was told to leave the restaurant because he was wearing boots, which he'd worn inside earlier that night. The agent said Johnson was not under the influence of alcohol. Johnson questioned the request and two off-duty Minneapolis police officers came over and told him to leave the lobby.

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The statement said before he walked out of the club, Johnson asked why he was the only person being asked to leave. The statement alleged as Johnson was leaving, one of the officers pepper-sprayed him.

Another security guard offered Johnson a towel and water to clean up. After he cleaned himself up, Johnson knocked on the restaurant door to give the security guard money. While at the door, Johnson saw the officer who sprayed him and took a photo of the officer and asked the officer's name.

The statement said Johnson then sat outside. A short video purportedly shot by Johnson and was sent to media Tuesday along with the statement - shows officers walk out of the restaurant and say they need Johnson's ID for a police report. Johnson refuses saying he hasn't done anything wrong. An officer reaches for something and the video ends.

Ghahremani claims the officer knocked the phone out of Johnson's hand and as Johnson reached for the phone on the ground, the officer used a Taser on the player multiple times in the back. Johnson was booked at the Hennepin County Jail for disorderly conduct and trespassing. Jail records show he was released at 10 a.m. Sunday after posting a $78 bail.

Johnson's attorney, David Valentini, could not be reached for comment Tuesday night. Vikings Coach Mike Zimmer says the incident won't affect Johnson's status for Sunday's home game against Detroit. Johnson practiced with the team Tuesday.