NFL: Bengals FB Orson Charles Arrested for Wanton Endangerment

Cincinnati Bengals fullback Orson Charles was arrested on April 1 for brandishing a gun at a driver along a freeway.

Apr 1 2014, 7:49pm CDT | by

NFL: Bengals FB Orson Charles Arrested for Wanton Endangerment
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Cincinnati Bengals fullback Orson Charles was arrested on April 1 for wanton endangerment. 

According to Paul Dehner, Jr. of, Charles allegedly brandished a gun during a road rage incident in Madison County, Ky.: 

"Bengals fullback Orson Charles was arrested in Madison County, Ky. late Monday charged with wanton endangerment-first degree, according to the jail. 

"Charles allegedly pulled a gun during a road rage incident. 

"Wanton endangerment in the first degree in Kentucky is defined as when, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, someone wantonly engages in conduct which creates a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury to another. 

"This is a Class D felony. He was booked at 9:56 Monday evening."

ESPN's Coley Harvey reports Charles was arrested after the victim contacted police. 

"According to a copy of the incident report obtained Tuesday morning by, Charles was stopped by Richmond police on Interstate 75 after a complaint was called in by another driver.

"The other driver indicated to police that Charles brandished a firearm in his direction several times while driving down the highway sometime just before 8 p.m. Monday.

"At some point, Charles allegedly cut off the other driver. When police arrived and did a search of Charles' car, a Smith & Wesson semiautomatic handgun was found in a purse.

"According to the report, Charles declined to make a statement to the police before his arrest. The Bengals issued a statement, saying they wouldn't comment on 'legal matters that are unresolved.'

"When contacted by on Tuesday morning, officials at the detention center said Charles had not yet been released. His bond has been set at $5,000."  

In a separate ESPN blog, Harvey chimes in on Charles' arrest. 

"They (Bengals) could easily move on without him.

"It is for that reason the little-used player has to realize the timing of his Monday arrest for wanton endangerment couldn't have been worse. If the facts of the incident allegedly gun-waving and threatening road rage behavior by Charles are true, he has suddenly found himself to be more expendable than before. 

"No player's time on a roster is guaranteed. They are all expendable, particularly when situations arise in which the league's conduct policy could be used as the basis of a release or suspension. 

"But when you're a player who is down on the depth chart, you don't want to give the front office any added reason to reconsider your roster spot. 

"It should be emphasized that as of now there is no reason to believe such actions will be taken by the Bengals against Charles. As it typically does in instances involving arrests, the team is sticking to its policy of letting the legal process take its course before it comments or acts. 

"Still, the ice the tight end-turned-H-back is standing on has worn thin. He already was having issues getting on the field. Now the Bengals have good reason to refuse him access to it ever again. 

"Charles has been a respected member of the Bengals' locker room." 

Harvey also stresses the Bengals are keen on moving Charles to the halfback position instead of him being a blocking fullback, citing the team's running backs coach, Kyle Casey. Cincinnati drafted him as a tight end, and the move to a different position was a surprise to many

Dehner adds Charles had been previously arrested in 2012 -- one month before he was drafted by the Bengals out of Georgia -- for DUI in Athens, Ga. 

The 23-year-old Charles, a native of Tampa, Fla., has recorded 109 receiving yards on nine receptions in 29 games for Cincinnati, per ESPN stats


Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.


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