Reporting Derek Valcourt
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Football star arrested. A former Raven set to be honored by the team next month lands himself in jail.
Derek Valcourt explains Jamal Lewis is now in trouble for failing to pay child support.
The 32-year-old running back faces a misdemeanor charge of child abandonment.
Jamal Lewis broke Ravens’ records when he rushed 2,066 yards during a single season in 2004. Now, it’s his criminal record that has him in the spotlight.
Police in Clayton County, Ga. arrested Lewis Tuesday for not paying child support. He was later released. The arrest warrant indicates he hasn’t seen his son in over a year.
But in a statement released Thursday, Lewis said:
“My arrest was the result of a misunderstanding rather than the result of me being an unfit father. I am a responsible parent and have always provided for my children. That fact cannot be disputed. I have made mistakes in my life, but failing to care for my children is not one of them. I’m confident this matter will be resolved as the legal process plays out.”
Allegations that Lewis hasn’t paid child support come just months after he filed for bankruptcy. He’s reportedly $10.6 million in debt.
And this is not the first time Jamal Lewis has had trouble with the law.
In 2005, he pleaded guilty to attempting to set up a cocaine drug deal that took place before he became a professional football player.
“I made a mistake four years ago when I was 20 that I’m paying heavily for,” Lewis said at the time.
Lewis spent four months in a federal prison work camp and spoke to reporters after his release.
“They gave me my time. I did what I did, and I stood up for what I did. And I took responsibility for my own actions and I’m the only one accountable for that and I’ve done it,” Lewis said.
So far no comment from the Ravens’ camp, which is set to induct him into their “Ring of Honor” at a game in September.
Lewis retired from football in 2009 at the age of 30 after spending six years in Baltimore and three playing in Cleveland.