Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Report: Drug charges dropped against Dunn
By Austin Ward
A review of his weekend traffic stop confirmed that Bri'onte Dunn wasn't wearing his seat belt. He is still charged with of disorderly conduct.
However, the evidence in the case will not produce any drug charges against the Ohio State running back.
According to the Canton (Ohio) Repository, after analyzing the reports, interviews and a video from the police cruiser, Alliance City law director Andrew Zumbar elected to file disorderly conduct and seat-belt violation charges against Dunn. But the small amount of marijuana and a pipe found in a car registered to Dunn's mother, who came to the scene in defense of her son, did not warrant the drug possession or paraphernalia charges that were initially expected after he was pulled over Saturday night.
A copy of the report still has not been made available to ESPN.com, and messages left for Zumbar and Alliance police chief Scott Griffith have not been immediately returned.
“Based upon the content of all the evidence reviewed, I made the decision to authorize the minor misdemeanor disorderly conduct instead of the drug possession because throughout the entire [traffic] stop Bri’onte Dunn is consistent and denies the paraphernalia and the small amount marijuana are his,” Zumbar told the newspaper. “The paraphernalia was not found on him.
“His statement is consistent that he denies possession of the objects."
Had they belonged to Dunn and drug charges were filed, the true freshman likely would have been facing stiff discipline from Urban Meyer. The new Buckeyes coach had drug use high on the list of violations of his core values, and he's also established a hard line for transgressors early in his tenure with the program.
But the two misdemeanor charges Dunn will now face appear unlikely to force him to miss any playing time when the season opens in September, when he's expected to push for playing time in the Buckeyes backfield with starter Jordan Hall injured and out for at least two games.
Dunn was impressive during spring practice after enrolling early, and Hall's absence could provide a significant opportunity for him to audition for a role in the offense behind Carlos Hyde. With his off-field incident apparently resolved, there doesn't appear to be anything preventing him from getting that chance. Training camp opens Friday.