An ex-NFL player’s California house hunting expedition turned into a police matter after a neighbor mistook him for a potential burglar and called the police.
Kellen Winslow Jr., former tight end for a number of teams, including the Cleveland Browns, was arrested on Thursday afternoon and booked on suspicion of burglary, NBC News reported. Prior to his arrest, the 34-year-old athlete was reportedly shopping for a mobile home for his mother-in-law in Encinitas, California. A nearby neighbor spotted Winslow and called the police to report a possible burglary, according to NBC News.
The neighbor who called the police reportedly confronted Winslow, according to San Diego’s ABC 10 News, and asked if he needed help with anything.
Winslow replied he was looking for his red dog, Clifford. The resident then requested that Winslow leave, and he left soon after.
Deputies later stopped Winslow in his car and arrested him. He was charged with one felony count of first-degree burglary and spent five hours in jail before posting bail, San Diego’s NBC 7 reported —but Winslow's publicist and lawyer said there was no burglary.
“An over-reactive neighbor called police after she saw Kellen walking around a mobile home,” Winslow's publicist, Denise White, told NBC 7. “He was sarcastic when answering her questions about what he was doing there. He said he was looking for his red dog Clifford. He actually has a red dog named Clifford. However, that’s not why he was there.
Winslow had stopped at the mobile home park on his way to the gym to look for a home for his mother-in-law. The mobile home owner is a friend of Winslow’s, White said.
“The owner said he never went inside the home or took anything, or nor was anything taken, touched or moved,” White told NBC News.
Winslow’s attorney Harvey A. Steinberg denied that his client burglarized the home in a statement released to NBC 7 on Friday.
“Mr. Winslow emphatically denies committing any burglary. He would have no need to burglarize or steal anything from anyone at a trailer park,” it reads. “He looks forward to being vindicated once this matter is fully investigated and adjudicated through the court system.”
[Photo: Kellen Winslow Jr. Cliff Welch/Icon SMI/Corbis via Getty Images]