Alabama Crimson Tide Coach Nick Saban announced the suspension of defensive back Tony Mitchell Monday following the freshman's arrest last week.
Saban said during a press conference, "There’s no such thing as being at the wrong place at the wrong time."
According to the Holmes County Sheriff's Office, deputies pulled over Mitchell and his passenger, Christophere Lewis of Valley Grande, on March 15.
Deputies allegedly observed a black Dodge Challenger whipping down Highway 79, "traveling over the posted speed limit of 55 miles per hour."
According to one deputy's account of the incident, his Stalker Dual Radar's front radar antenna confirmed the Challenger was speeding at 78 miles per hour.
The deputies turned on their lights and siren, then gave chase.
Mitchell reportedly accelerated to over 141 miles per hour, such that he temporarily evaded the deputies "at Highway 79 near Sam's Bar," prompting them to cancel the pursuit just eight minutes after it had begun.
Nearly 10 minutes later, the deputy reported spotting the suspect, again exceeding the posted speed limit.
This time, when the deputies gave chase, the vehicle came to a stop.
"The driver complied and I made a driver side approach and contacted Antonio Mitchell who was operating the vehicle and front seat passenger Christophere Lewis," said the police report obtained by Al.com. "I observed Mr. Mitchell’s eyes to be red and glazy. Mr. Mitchell appeared to have a slow and/or delayed response answering questions and provided me with an Alabama driver’s license."
During the traffic stop, deputies reported detecting the "odor of burnt marijuana coming from the vehicle."
When asked whether he was in possession of marijuana, Mitchell reportedly produced a bag containing two ounces of the drug from the passenger floorboard.
The HCSO indicated that a "significant amount of marijuana" was found during a search of the vehicle. Deputies also found a set of scales, a large amount of cash, and a loaded handgun between the passenger seat and center console.
The full police report obtained by Al.com stated that over $7,000 in cash and 226 grams of marijuana were stowed in the vehicle along with the loaded Springfield 9mm.
During the arrest, Mitchell reportedly admitted to knowingly fleeing from law enforcement, claiming that Lewis had told him to "punch it."
Mitchell and his passenger were both charged with possession of marijuana with the intent to sell and/or deliver. However, his passenger was also hit with a charge for carrying a concealed firearm without a permit.
Following the Crimson Tide's first spring practice, Coach Saban addressed Mitchell's arrest, saying, "You’ve got to be responsible for who you’re with, who you’re around and what you do; who you associate yourself and the situations that you put yourself in."
Mitchell, an Under Armour All-American and ESPN Top 100 player, is suspended from the team "and all team activities until we gather more information about the situation and what his legal circumstance is," said Saban.
Al.com reported that Mitchell committed to Alabama in June 2022. At the time, he was the top-ranked defensive back in the state and ranked No. 2 nationally.
"He’s got very good speed," said Shawn DeFoor, defensive coordinator at Thompson High School in Alabaster, where Mitchell got his start. "He’s very crafty and football intelligent. In fact, he’s just intelligent period. I don’t know if he’s ever made a B. He may have, but I doubt he’s ever made a C."
Mitchell is now facing a possible Class B felony charge.
"It is what it is, but there is cause and effect when you make choices and decisions that put you in bad situations," added Saban.
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