Former LSU defensive back Tharold Simon was arrested Thursday night after allegedly intimidating a Eunice police officer who asked him to move his vehicle, Eunice Police Chief Ronald Dies said Friday.
Dies said Simon moved his vehicle, which was blocking Beulah Street, but blared his music loudly.
When the officer attempted to ticket Simon, the football player “basically told (officer), ‘I’m a star,’ and if he was writing a ticket, that he could get it fixed and get (officer’s) job,” Dies said.
When the officer attempted to arrest Simon, Dies said, Simon refused to put his hands behind his back.
Dies said Simon was arrested on counts of obstruction of roadway, public intimidation, resisting an officer and a noise violation.
Dies said a copy of the arrest report was not immediately available, but would be forthcoming.
Dies did not give The Advocate a copy of the arrest report and did not return subsequent calls about the receipt of the arrest report.
The police chief said the resisting an officer count against Simon stemmed from his refusal to place his hands behind his back.
“He wasn’t aggressive toward the officer,” Dies said. “He did apologize to the officer for being rude. He understood he made a mistake and was showing off in front of his friends.”
Simon’s agent, Peter Schaffer, told cbssports.com that he witnessed the incident and that Simon “did absolutely nothing wrong and nothing illegal” and that he was “looking into” filing a civil lawsuit against the Eunice Police Department.
“Tharold is a wonderful young man who acted with the appropriate class and dignity in this matter in an attempt to avoid any altercation with the officer, and we’re very proud of the way he handled himself,” Schaffer said. “We’re appalled with the actions of the officer, certainly coming on the eve of the one of the most important days of Tharold’s life.”
Simon, a 6-foot-2, 202-pound cornerback and a junior at LSU, became a full-time starter in his final season with the Tigers last year after the departure of Morris Claiborne, now with the Dallas Cowboys, and Tyrann Mathieu, who was kicked off the team after allegedly failing a drug test. Simon notched 45 tackles and four interceptions last season. He was also suspended for one game in 2011 for allegedly failing a drug test.
Simon, a graduate of Eunice High School, and about nine other Tigers declared for the NFL Draft, which began Thursday in New York. He’s considered a mid- to late-round draft pick, meaning he could be drafted in the fourth to seventh rounds, which take place Saturday.
The city of Eunice planned to proclaim Friday as Tharold Simon Day in conjunction with a planned family event, however, those plans were canceled, Mayor Rusty Moody said Friday afternoon.
LSU spokesman Michael Bonnette, who was traveling from New York on Friday, declined to comment on the incident, adding that Simon is no longer a member of the football team.
Advocate staff writers Marsha Sills and Matthew Harris contributed to this report.