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Following a high-speed chase with Fruitland Park police, McCray pulled into a convenience store parking lot, tried to pump gas into a Tavares police car, and engaged in other “erratic behavior,” police records say.
McCray, 31, of Ocala, was taken to the Lake County jail at 7:53 a.m. on Sunday and was released by 9:11 a.m.
Fruitland Park police reported that he was driving at speeds of up to 100 mph on U.S. Highway 27-441.
“The vehicle was being operated in an extremely reckless manner, swerving across all three lanes of southbound traffic….”
The officer broke off pursuit for the safety of other drivers, but McCray was later arrested by Tavares police. He was transported to AdventHealth Waterman before his arrest.
When the officer finally caught up with him at the hospital, he reportedly said, “Oh, was that you? My bad.”
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After the Fruitland Park chase, Tavares Sgt. Jason Baugh was assisting Astatula Sgt. Rodney Brown in a drug arrest at the 7-Eleven at Banning Beach Road and U.S. Highway 441 at 12:29 a.m. when McCray pulled up in a white Dodge Ram pickup truck.
He got out of his truck and walked up to the officers, reports say.
“Mr. McCray appeared to know Sgt. Brown and gave him a fist bump,” Baugh noted in his report.
Police say he did not know any of the officers.
McCray pulled out his wallet, walked up to Baugh’s patrol car, opened the fuel door, and then went to the pump.
Baugh wrote that he “politely told Mr. McCray that there was no need to buy the department gas and closed the fuel door. Mr. McCray opened the fuel door again, inserting the fuel nozzle into the fuel intake….”
Baugh said he attempted to take the fuel nozzle out of the patrol vehicle when McCray “grabbed” his right wrist and “squeezed forcibly.”
He wrote that he was unsure what McCray was trying to do, so he pushed him, put the nozzle back on the pump, told him not to touch him again, and ordered him to go back to his truck.
Then McCray opened the back of his truck, "and pulled out a child-size bicycle and placed it on his hood.”
The report said McCray was “talking in circles and not responding to officers.”
He said McCray then walked to the rear of his vehicle and laid down on the ground “as if he wanted to be handcuffed.”
Baugh told other officers now on the scene to handcuff McCray “due to his erratic behavior.”
Baugh said he allowed McCray to sit near his leg, but that he was not making any sense and that he fell asleep while leaning on Baugh's leg.
'A medical or mental health crisis'
Officers called EMS.
“We were treating this as a medical or a mental health crisis,” Tavares Detective Courtney Sullivan told the Daily Commercial on Wednesday.
At that point, officers knew that Fruitland Park police were looking for McCrary, so they held him until they could take custody of him. McCray was taken to AdventHealth hospital.
A tow truck was called for the pickup. Officers found what appeared to be a bag of marijuana and a Benelli SuperNova shotgun. The shotgun was in a toolbox.
Sullivan said her agency filed no charges in the events that unfolded in Tavares. Baugh’s report said the “green leafy substance” was taken into evidence and the shotgun was taken for safekeeping. The agency has not yet reviewed body camera footage of the incident, Sullivan said.
Ultimately, McCray was charged with fleeing and eluding police and was given a speeding citation. He was also charged with refusing to submit his driver’s license for inspection and was held on a total of $7,000 bond.
McCray is a defensive end/outside linebacker in the NFL and was on the Denver Broncos when they won Super Bowl 50 in 2016. He's also played for the Green Bay Packers and Buffalo Bills. McCray attended Dunnellon High School in Marion County and played football for the University of Florida.
This article originally appeared on Daily Commercial: Police: NFL player Lerentee McCray's arrest 'a medical or a mental health crisis'