Packers linebacker arrested for battery
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Green Bay Packers linebacker Erik Walden was arrested on battery charges early Friday morning and will be in the Brown County Jail until at least Monday afternoon.
Walden was being held on suspicion of felony substantial battery with a domestic violence enhancer, according to an in-take officer at the jail. Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, the courts were closed Friday and Walden won't be able to go in front of a judge for an initial appearance until after 2:30 p.m. Monday, she said.
Coach Mike McCarthy gave the players Friday through Monday off following their Thanksgiving Day victory over the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.
The Green Bay Press-Gazette reported Friday that Walden, 26, had been arrested for allegedly assaulting his live-in girlfriend at their apartment in Lawrence, a small town outside of Green Bay. He was brought to the Brown County Jail at around 8 a.m.
Hobart-Lawrence police Chief Randy Bani told the Press-Gazette that the incident took place about 2:30 a.m. and that the woman involved called authorities about 6:30 a.m.
According to Bani, the woman was treated at St. Vincent Hospital for a cut and bump on her head as well as an injured right hand. Walden was taken into custody after she was treated.
Neither Bani nor any other officer with the Hobart-Lawrence police immediately returned phone and email messages.
Channel 26 in Green Bay reported that the woman said the incident was a misunderstanding. She told the station that the two were arguing when she tripped and hit her head on the bed.
She said the hospital called police at around 6 a.m.
The team issued this statement: "The Packers organization is aware of the situation involving Erik Walden. We are in the process of gathering more information and will refrain from making any further comment."
A family member declined to comment.
The incident could cost Walden a fine or worse. The NFL has a personal conduct policy that doesn't require a player to be convicted of a crime to be subject to penalty.
Suspensions are generally used for those with multiple infractions. Walden does not have any prior charges in Wisconsin, according to online court records, and there are no reports of him being in trouble previously.
It's unclear what action, if any, the Packers will take when Walden is released. A lot will probably depend on whether he is charged and, if so, with what.
Walden has started all 11 games for the Packers this season. He was obtained during the middle of the 2010 season and became an integral part of the defense on the way to the Super Bowl championship.
He started against the Lions on Thanksgiving Day, leading the team in tackles with eight and quarterback hits with two, then flew home with the team, arriving in the early evening.
Walden has 57 tackles and three sacks this season.
The last active Packers player to be arrested was cornerback Brandon Underwood, who was taken into custody July 6 for disorderly conduct against his wife. He allegedly pushed his wife to the ground and ripped a necklace from her neck following the Packers' ring ceremony.
Underwood also pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of soliciting a prostitute in a June 2010 incident at a resort cabin in Lake Delton after two women alleged he sexually assaulted them. Underwood paid a $379 fine.
The Packers released Underwood at the end of the 2011 training camp.