Cleveland Browns cut Lonnie Phelps after Florida crash, DUI charges

June 20 (UPI) -- The Cleveland Browns cut defensive end Lonnie Phelps after his arrest on DUI charges and after police said he drove his SUV into a Key West, Fla., restaurant, causing $300,000 in damages.

Phelps refused to take a breath test and also refused to cooperate with police investigating the incident, according to reports. The Browns have waived Phelps in light of the incident.


The building's owner, Joseph Schroeder, said the restaurant was closed when the incident occurred.

Phelps was charged with drunken driving and damaging property and police say he had trouble answering their questions. Phelps allegedly told police officers that he turned away from them because he was afraid of being shot.

Phelps and his female passenger appeared to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the police report, obtained by local media, said.

Police say Phelps crashed his Hyundai SUV into the Red Shoe Island Bistro just before 8 p.m. No injuries were reported.

Police said Phelps left the roadway and ran into the restaurant's outdoor patio, which was unoccupied since the establishment was closed, drove across a sidewalk and missed hitting a palm tree. Police arrested Phelps and took him away.


The Browns have said they are aware of the incident and are investigating but waived the defensive end Thursday afternoon.

Phelps will turn 24 in August. He signed a one-year $795,000 contract with the Browns and played on their practice squad last season after being an undrafted free agent from the University of Kansas.

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