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Published: Sunday, 1/7/2007

Ex-NFL, City League player charged in brawl


A former Toledo football standout who once played with the NFL s Cincinnati Bengals is being investigated for his role in a fight and stabbing yesterday outside Jackson s Lounge & Grill downtown, authorities said.

Currently a linebacker for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Canadian Football League, JoJuan Armour, 30, of 1625 Avondale Ave., was charged with obstructing official business and resisting arrest.

Andre Ragland, 25, of the same address, was charged with obstructing official business.

The men were booked into and released from the Lucas County jail yesterday morning and are to appear in Toledo Municipal Court tomorrow, authorities said.

An officer was patrolling the 200 block of North Huron about 2:10 a.m. yesterday when he observed a fight.

He approached the scene, and found Darrell Gillard, 26, unconscious and lying in the street.

The officer ordered everyone to stop fighting and get on the ground, according to a police report.

The men refused to stop fighting. The officer used Mace on the group. Mr. Armour was ordered to the ground. When he refused, the officer took him to the ground, according to the report.

Mr. Armour then got up and threw the officer to the ground. The officer was able to get Mr. Armour to the ground again, and with the help of another officer arrested him, the report said.

During that altercation, Mr. Ragland walked away from the scene, but returned and was arrested.

After Mr. Armour was taken into custody, officers noticed that a second victim, Timothy Hightower, 23, had a stab wound in his stomach, the report states.

Both Mr. Hightower and Mr. Gillard were taken to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center for treatment.

Mr. Hightower was in fair condition last night. No information was available on Mr. Gillard, a hospital spokesman said.

A black-handled folding knife was found in the front pocket of Mr. Ragland s pants and was taken into evidence, the report states.

Mr. Armour is a 1995 graduate of Central Catholic High School who was inducted into the school s athletic hall of fame in April.

He was the City League player of the year in 1994 as a senior, and was All-City first team as both a running back and linebacker as a junior and senior. Mr. Armour was named All-Ohio second-team linebacker in Division I as a senior.

Mr. Armour played at Miami University, where he was twice named Mid-American Conference defensive player of the year as a linebacker.

He was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in 1999, then wound up playing three seasons for the Cincinnati Bengals. Cincinnati released him in August, 2003.

He then played with Barcelona of NFL Europe, and British Columbia of the CFL.

According to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats Web site, the 6-foot, 225-pound linebacker played in all 18 games in his first season and led the team in defensive tackles with 68. He also had 10 special teams tackles, five quarterback sacks, and one forced fumble.

Contact Meghan Gilbert at: mgilbert@theblade.com or 419-724-6050.

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