The San Francisco 49ers are having a tough time avoiding negative headlines this offseason. The latest episode includes outside linebacker Aldon Smith, who was arrested Sunday at Los Angeles International Airport, according to multiple reports.
According to witnesses, Smith became "belligerent" and made mention of a "bomb" at a security checkpoint. Authorities at the airport said the suspect is in the process of being booked with the Los Angeles Police Department. They won't release the identity of the suspect until the booking is complete, although witnesses' pictures and videos of Smith's apparent arrest have been circulating online.
"At approximately 1400 hrs, a 25-year-old male resident of San Jose, California, was going through Terminal 1 screening and was randomly selected for a secondary screening. The suspect then became belligerent and uncooperative with the process and with the TSA agent, making a comment indicating that he was in possession of a bomb before proceeding towards the gate area," a spokesperson from the airport told the Sacramento Bee.
"Los Angeles Airport Police made contact with him at the gate and he was positively identified as the person in question. Once again the male subject became uncooperative and he was detained and taken into custody by Airport Police and is currently being transported to LAPD for booking."
According to the report, an argument began at the Southwest Airlines ticket counter and led to an agent telling Smith he wouldn't be allowed to board the plane. The argument escalated leading to Smith's apparent arrest.
"We are disappointed to learn of the incident today involving Aldon Smith. As this is a pending legal matter and we are still gathering the pertinent facts, we will have no further comment," general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement.
This is yet another off-the-field incident involving the 49ers' 24-year-old outside linebacker who's become a key member of one of the league's best defenses. He was arrested for a DUI in September three days before Week 3's loss to the Colts. Smith then took a five-week leave of absence to attend a treatment facility for substance abuse. In November, Smith pleaded not guilty to three felony counts of illegal possession of an assault weapon originating from a party at his home in June of 2012.
With this latest development, the 2014 offseason continues to be a tumultuous one for San Francisco. Smith's reported arrest comes just days after an investigation implicating Colin Kaepernick, wideout Quinton Patton and former 49ers receiver Ricardo Lockette began in Miami after a woman passed out in Lockette's apartment and wound up in the hospital having no recollection of how she got there, according to an incident report.
Smith has registered 42 sacks in 43 regular season games since being drafted in the first round in 2011. The Missouri alum is entering the final season of four-year rookie contract. The 49ers have until May 3 to pick up his fifth-year option for a reported $9.75 million.
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