Eagles player charged with shoving Tempe officer

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Keelan Nicolas Johnson, 24 By Mike Gertzman Keelan Nicolas Johnson, 24 By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- A Philadelphia Eagles player is facing charges in Arizona after authorities say he pushed a Tempe police officer investigating a bar brawl.

Officials said Keelan Johnson, a first-year safety, was arrested early Saturday following a confrontation with officers outside a bar in Tempe, home of Arizona State University. Johnson played in 49 games for the school.

"He impact pushed our officer back with quite a bit of force knocking him back quite a ways," said Tempe police Lt. Michael Pooley. "He would have ended up going home that night but when he went the step too far by trying to get involved, by intervening himself, by eventually assaulting one of our officers he did get a felony charge. It's a very serious crime."

A probable cause statement says Johnson "violently pushed" an officer in the chest, causing him to strike his head against a tree. Police say Johnson appeared drunk and refused officers' orders.

He has been charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

"Once Mr. Johnson was in custody he didn't try to fight us. He didn't try to say anything. He didn't tell us who he was. He realized what had happened and he was cooperative with us," said Lt. Michael Pooley.

The incident between Johnson and the police officer occurred after a fight broke out at Zuma Grill on Mill Avenue at about 2 a.m. Saturday.

The fight involved Robert Martin, who was at the bar with Johnson.

"The bouncers were bringing out one of the people involved in the fight. That's when our officers began taking him [Martin] into custody for disorderly conduct," said Lt. Pooley.

Eagles spokesman Derak Boyko said the team is disappointed in Johnson's arrest but is still trying to gather the facts.

It was not known if Johnson had an attorney.


Click here to see Keelan Johnson's initial court appearance.


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