While the NFL’s biggest headlines at the moment are all about the league’s first openly gay player, the off-season saga of Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark is getting plenty of attention as well. Clark was arrested in Los Angeles on Sunday after police pulled him over for a traffic stop, only to discover what’s being described as an Uzi in a bag inside the vehicle.
Now the Pro Bowler is facing a felony charge of possessing a concealed firearm in a vehicle, and as it turns out, it’s not the first time this year that Clark has been arrested for violating California’s gun control laws.
Sam McDowell of the Kansas City Star uncovered California Highway Patrol records that show the Chiefs defensive end was arrested March 13 along with another man, Charles Smith, on a gun charge during a traffic stop.
Officers observed and recovered two loaded firearms inside the vehicle during a traffic stop at 11:45 p.m. PT on March 12. The police report obtained by the newspaper shows Clark and Smith were pulled over because the vehicle in which they were traveling did not display a front license plate.
Officers saw the muzzle of a firearm in a bag in the back seat and recovered two loaded firearms — one rifle and one handgun — from the vehicle.
While Clark has been charged with possessing a concealed firearm in a vehicle, it’s quite possible that those charges will be upgraded based on his previous criminal history.
He was accused of domestic violence while at Michigan, and he ultimately pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in a deal with prosecutors. However, the police who investigated the case disagreed with the conclusion by prosecutors that Clark did not strike his victim.
Clark also was convicted in 2012 on felony home-invasion charges, which caused him to ultimately miss one week of practice and a single game while playing for Brady Hoke at Ann Arbor.
Ordinarily, a felony conviction would mean that Clark’s prohibited from possessing any firearm at any time, but a 2012 press report indicates that Clark’s situation may not be that simple.
Clark, a sophomore defensive end, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a felony charge of second-degree home invasion. He acknowledged in Washtenaw County Trial Court that he stole a MacBook Air laptop from a floormate at Stockwell Hall.
When he is sentenced Oct. 23, he faces a maximum of 15 years in prison and $3,000 fine. He will be sentenced under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, which allows the charge to be expunged if he successfully fulfills his probation requirements.
Clark ended up with a whopping twelve months of probation for the home invasion charge, and it looks like he was able to complete his probationary sentence without getting into any more legal trouble, but whether or not he’s had his right to keep and bear arms restored is an open question.
According to Clark’s attorney, however, the gun found in his car on Sunday belonged to his bodyguard, though that really wouldn’t matter if the guard wasn’t in the vehicle with him. Still, I suspect that Clark will end up being the beneficiary of some celebrity justice and will likely be offered a plea deal that amounts to another probationary sentence in exchange for pleading guilty to a lesser offense. That’s been the outcome each time Clark’s been arrested in the past, and I doubt this time will be any different.