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Bess’ arrest reveals troubled world of the ex-UH star

By Adam Beasley

The Miami Herald

LAST UPDATED: 06:23 a.m. HST, Jan 18, 2014

MIAMI >> The police report detailing Davone Bess' alleged assault of a deputy at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Friday depicts an unstable, violent man, likely on drugs.

It's the same condition in which authorities discovered Bess, the former Dolphins receiver, in his Cooper City home 10 months earlier -- and the reason his family had him hospitalized against his will.

Six Broward Sheriff's Office deputies were needed that night to restrain Bess, who was screaming, "Hide the guns!" "Where is my weed?" and "I want to get in the end zone; throw me the football!" according to the incident report.

Word of Bess' prior meltdown was never made public until now.

A month after his hospitalization, the Dolphins traded him to the Cleveland Browns, where he remains to this day. A team spokesman said the Browns are aware of the situation and are working to gather more information.

Bess, 28, already had drawn scrutiny in recent days for two pictures of what appears to be marijuana that he posted on Twitter.

Then on Friday, his problems worsened. Broward Sheriff's Office deputies arrested him at the airport, charging him with assault, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest without violence.

Here's what happened, according to the report:

Early in the morning, Bess was seen walking down the airport concourse "acting irrationally" -- singing and dancing with his pants falling down.

When BSO deputy Thomas O'Brien, who works the airport detail, approached Bess, the Cleveland Browns wideout crushed a cup of coffee on him and got into a fighting stance.

O'Brien, fearing for his safety, struck Bess in the leg with his baton. It apparently had no effect. Bess took off his shirt and got back into a fighting stance.

Finally, after backup arrived, Bess surrendered and was taken into custody. The deputy believes Bess was on drugs.

"He appeared to be looking through me when I was talking to him," O'Brien wrote.

CBS-4 Miami caught up with Bess, who later bonded out of jail, and asked what he plans to do next.

"Get back to helping kids all over the world," said Bess, the Miami Dolphins' 2011 Walter Payton Man of the Year, an award that honors players for their work away from the field.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported late Friday that Bess has been dealing with personal issues for some time, including insomnia, and was trying to catch a flight back home to seek help.

That jibes with the police report from March 11, 2013, unearthed by The Miami Herald.

On that night, BSO was called to Bess' Cooper City home. When the first deputy arrived, he noted a strong smell of cannabis coming from the master bedroom. The deputy also observed several males trying to restrain an agitated, incoherent Bess, who was trying to throw them off. Efforts by fire rescue to sedate him were unsuccessful.

Finally, a half-dozen cops were able to pin him down. Bess was taken to Memorial East Hospital.

Bess' mother, Chinell Carpenter, had flown in that day from California after receiving a call that her son was not acting like himself. She said then that Bess had not slept in three days and was going through some serious personal issues.

Bess was once hailed as a true redemption story. Raised in a rough part of Oakland, he witnessed the murder of his uncle at age 10.

Years later, he was sent to juvenile detention for his role in a theft and lost his scholarship to Oregon State. He straightened out his life, and went on to star at the University of Hawaii.

The Dolphins signed him as an undrafted rookie, and he went on to catch 321 passes in his five years with the team.

In late 2012, the Dolphins ultimately traded him to the Browns during draft weekend in 2013. Those close to him say he has since had trouble at home. He missed the final two games to deal with a personal emergency in Oakland. Since then, his behavior has grown even more erratic.

Dolphins receiver Brandon Gibson, Bess' teammate for a brief time and his de facto replacement on the field, tweeted out the following Friday: "Praying for my bro DB."

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Grimbold wrote:
Bess is doing a great disservice to his race. His picture feeds the prejudice against young blacks. Although their crime rate is the highest of any race the newspaper should not show the picture. I t would be better to keep the reader uninformed.
on January 18,2014 | 04:07AM
inHilo wrote:
Only in your mind. Read your first sentence for confirmation.
on January 18,2014 | 05:41AM
Grimbold wrote:
So being on drugs make lawbreaking right?
on January 18,2014 | 06:32PM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
You are a disgrace to your race and to humanity.
on January 18,2014 | 11:08AM
Grimbold wrote:
Funny , if someone would post such an imputence concerning a colored person there would be an uproar and the stuff censored. A disgrace to humanity. dah!
on January 18,2014 | 06:27PM
serious wrote:
I lived in Lakewood, Wa and when we had a criminal offense they would not show the race of the culprit because about 100% were black and the ACLU said to tell the race was profiling!! Once again, if we had picked our own cotton hundreds of years ago we wouldn't have this problem,--nor an NBA!!
on January 18,2014 | 12:01PM
Grimbold wrote:
Did you see the offensive comment of nodaddynotthebelt ? According to him a disgrace are those who say the truth.
on January 18,2014 | 06:31PM
Grimbold wrote:
The newspaper has already learned from my comment. Today's report of: "former (black) NFL star defensive back Darren Sharper has been arrested on suspicion of rape." had no picture to help us remain blissfully uniformed.
on January 18,2014 | 06:47PM
Mythman wrote:
the weed is doing as intended by those who profit from it - destroying youth so the greedy can make even more of a fortune by lessening competition. Sports as a substitute for capitalism is running out of steam. What's next? Ipads and video games? How about a computer implanted inside your eyeball at birth that constantly runs Hollywood entertainment into your brain in an endless stream. Sounds like a campaign plank for a big political party.
on January 18,2014 | 05:33AM
inHilo wrote:
For a ransom of one million dollars!
on January 18,2014 | 05:42AM
Slow wrote:
Funny marijuana didn't destroy Michael Phelps. You actually believe some evil-doers made Davone Bess destroy himself on marijuana to lessen competition and make a profit? Maybe this makes sense to you but let me the first to clue you in. BWA HA HA HA HA HA.
on January 18,2014 | 09:21AM
Grimbold wrote:
I used to smoke, and regret it now. But it did not make me commit violence or other crimes, but it temporarily made me real lazy, wanting to listen to music, getting munchies and sexually irresponsible.
on January 18,2014 | 06:37PM
lowtone123 wrote:
Hopefully someone like JJ can reach out to him and reel him back in. Bess was a model citizen in Hawaii and for most of his time in Miami. Best of luck to him.
on January 18,2014 | 07:16AM
GoldenRule wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on January 18,2014 | 07:37AM
kimchee wrote:
Color of the man has nothing to do with his problems.
on January 18,2014 | 07:46AM
Bdpapa wrote:
Correct! He needs help and hopefully he responds in a positive way.
on January 18,2014 | 08:02AM
Slow wrote:
"Poor black man?" Uncle Ray is that you? Ray Cyst?
on January 18,2014 | 09:22AM
lokela wrote:
Old life catching up to him. Hope he overcomes whatever obstacles thrown his way again.
on January 18,2014 | 09:17AM
kekelaward wrote:
This story again proves that baton strikes to the legs are useless. (Legs, not knees)
on January 18,2014 | 12:11PM
Valleyisle57 wrote:
The end to a career that could have been soooo much longer as well as incredibly positive. So sad!
on January 18,2014 | 08:26PM
Eleo wrote:
Sounds like Devon Bess have seen better days. The characteristics provided in this article fits the profile of someone who smoked THC (marijuana) laced with a bad batched of Spice. It was a pleasure watching DB play back in the days for the Warriors and I continue to enjoy watching him play in the NFL. Wishing DB a speedy recovery. WARRIOR NATION
on January 18,2014 | 10:29PM