Texas cops detained and frisked retired NFL running back and former Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams, who was in town for the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award ceremony in Texas, after he decided to take a leisurely stroll before the ceremony began.
At around 3:30 p.m. last Wednesday, Tyler police received a call from a homeowner in the area near the Courtyard Marriott hotel where the 39-year-old former Miami Dolphin and Texas Longhorn was staying for the event, claiming a man behind his house was hopping fences and acting suspicious.
“He was in all black,” the caller told dispatchers.
“You been back here lately?” an officer asks.
“No, I’m staying in this hotel,” Williams replies.
“Here’s the deal. I know more than you think I know. I know you were in somebody’s yard back there,” a cop tells Williams.
After Williams denies climbing fences or having any weapons on him, an officer tells him, “Okay, turn around place your hands behind your back. I’m just going to make sure you don’t have any weapons on you.”
Accusing him of stealing a tape measure at a nearby construction site, which Williams admits to picking up then putting back down, an officer conducts a pat down without first asking for his consent.
“Do you know how many times I’ve been messed with by cops just for being black?” asks Williams who is set to appear in the season’s episode of NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice.”
“I’m not saying that’s what you’re doing; I’m just saying I’m sensitive to it.”
One of the officers remarks to another cop on-scene he “looked like Ricky Williams.”
“I am Ricky Williams,” he replies before the officers apologize, pat him on the back and allow him to leave.
“I’m just glad I had my driver’s license on me and I didn’t have any weed on me or it would have gotten really bad,” said Williams, who tested positive for marijuana several times during his 12-year NFL career, in an interview with the Tomorrow Show.
“He would have put me in cuffs if I didn’t have my ID. I’m a quirky person. It’s kind of dangerous to be black and quirky unless you’re famous.”
Videos of the detainment, as well as Williams describing the incident on KLBJ’s “Dudley and Bob Show” in Austin, are included below.