Former NFL tight end Orson Charles arrested in Tampa entertainment district

TAMPA, Fla. — Former NFL tight end Orson Charles is accused of threatening police officers with a gun during an argument over a parking space in a Tampa, Florida, entertainment district, authorities said.

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Charles, 31, of Tampa, was arrested Saturday and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, carrying a concealed firearm and introduction of contraband into a detention facility, according to Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office online booking records. He was found in possession of a misdemeanor amount of marijuana, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Charles played five seasons in the NFL. He was drafted in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL draft by Cincinnati and played two seasons with the Bengals. He also played for the Detroit Lions (2016), Kansas City Chiefs (2017) and Cleveland Browns (2018).

According to the Tampa Police Department, Charles and the victims were trying to park at an intersection in Ybor City just before midnight on Friday, WTVT reported.

According to police, Charles exited his vehicle and approached the driver’s side of the victim’s car, the television station reported.

While arguing with the victims, officers said Charles pulled out a gun and threatened to shoot them, WTVT reported.

When the victims identified themselves as law enforcement officers and showed their badges, Charles allegedly said, “I don’t give a (expletive); I have one in the head,” the Times reported.

The victims left the parking spot but reported the incident to an off-duty deputy with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, according to the newspaper.

According to a report by the Tampa Police Department, Charles’ permit to carry a concealed firearm had expired.

During his NFL career, Charles caught 14 passes for 185 yards. He was a first-team All-SEC selection while he played college football at the University of Georgia in 2011, according to the Times. During his three-year career with the Bulldogs, Charles caught 94 passes for 1,370 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Charles was also drafted by the XFL’s DC Defenders in 2020 but did not sign with the team, according to CBS Sports.

Born in Tampa, Charles played high school at Riverview High School and then transferred to Plant High School. During his senior season he made 75 catches for 1,418 yards and 21 touchdowns, according to the Times.

Charles was arrested at 12:06 a.m. EDT on Saturday and posted bail at 9:31 p.m. that night, online records show.