PASSAIC, N.J. — The Cleveland Browns have released a rookie who is charged with attempted murder for allegedly punching a man in the head outside a club in northern New Jersey.
Ausar Walcott turned himself in to Passaic police Tuesday after he was identified as a suspect in an incident that happened around 3 a.m. Sunday.
The linebacker was signed by the Browns on May 13 following a tryout. The team announced his release Wednesday.
Walcott, 23, is charged with first-degree attempted murder, second-degree aggravated assault, and third-degree endangering an injured victim, said Salvatore Bellomo, a senior assistant prosecutor.
He said the complaint alleges Walcott punched a man in the head.
The Record newspaper said the Hackensack, N.J., native and former University of Virginia player struck 24-year-old Derrick Jones just after The Palace Gentlemen's Club closed. Police told the newspaper that Jones, who is from New York City, was critically injured.
Walcott was being held on $500,000 bail. It's not clear if he has a defense lawyer.
His release came on day after the AFC's rookies visited the Browns' facility as part of the NFL's Rookie Symposium, four days of seminars and meetings designed to prepare the drafted first-year players for life as a professional — on and off the field.
Earlier this week, the players listened to cautionary speeches from Cincinnati cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones and former Ohio State star Maurice Clarett about staying out of trouble.
Walcott is the second Browns rookie to be arrested. Seventh-round selection Armonty Bryant was charged with drunken driving in Oklahoma less than one week after the Browns picked the defensive end in April's draft.
Bryant, who was also arrested on a felony drug charge in college, said Tuesday that he has been working hard to stay clean.
Walcott was a four-year letter winner at Virginia. He made 22 career starts and played in 45 games for the Cavaliers, recording 128 tackles with 1½ sacks and a fumble recovery.
Lions make moves
ALLEN PARK, Mich. — The Detroit Lions signed ex-Chicago Bears defensive end Israel Idonije to a one-year contract and released defensive end Freddie Bishop.
Terms of the contract for Idonije, a free agent, were not released.
Idonije has spent nine seasons with the Bears. He started 11 games last season and finished second on the team in sacks (7.5) behind Julius Peppers (11.5).
Idonije made 48 tackles (29 solo), had 7.5 sacks (68 yards) and one forced fumble last season.
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