On February 28, 2018 at approximately 4:16pm, Officer Joel Richardson, of the Atlanta Police Department was working an off-duty gig at an Atlanta jewelry store, when he “was involved in a physical altercation with a Mr. Branden Albert.” Richardson – who was tackled by Albert during the incident – described the former NFL player as “solidly built.”
Branden Baptist Albert, born November 4, 1984, is a former NFL offensive tackle who played nine seasons professionally. He played college football at Virginia and was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs 15th overall in the 2008 NFL Draft. Albert later played for the Miami Dolphins and was a member of Jacksonville Jaguars before announcing his retirement in 2017.
The Icebox Jewelry incident began when Albert and two of his friends entered Icebox to make a purchase. While the three men were inside the store, Albert wandered to the back of the store — where customers are generally not permitted.
The store’s owner, Jooma Zahir, asked Albert to leave multiple times, but, per Officer Richardson’s report, “instead he punched a jewelry cabinet which left a very large hole.” At that point Albert was confronted by Officer Richardson. Albert’s friends agreed to pay for the damages immediately, “but Albert kept insisting that he leave the store.”
“Furthermore, Albert became loud and boisterous, used lots of profanity and stated that he would kill Mr. Jooma. Mr. Albert also stated that he did not steal anything.”
“I, Ofc Richardson, gave Mr. Albert several commands that he cannot leave the store until this matter is resolved, then without being provoked Mr. Albert dashed between his two friends and pushed me very hard, then made his way toward the exit. I, Officer Richardson, deployed my City Of Atlanta Taser due to the fact that Mr. Albert is approximately 315 pounds (solidly built) 6′ 4″ in height, and a former NFL football player.”
“Also, upon deploying my taser only one of the prongs made contact, and Mr. Albert fell to the ground, but immediately got back up, pulled out the prong and began to take flight again. I, Officer Richardson, gave chase again, but Mr. Albert stopped, turned around and tackled me to the ground, then attempted to leave the stated location, but was confronted by Zone 2 units and gave up.”
“While at Zone 2 precinct Mr. Albert stated that we had a good tussle and he apologize for his behavior, but then his attitude changed again. Mr. Albert once again used profanity, was boisterous and would constantly asked to be released, stating that he did nothing wrong.”
Branden Albert was arrested and charged with Criminal Damage to Property 16-7-23, and Obstruction of a Law Enforcement Officer 16-10-24(b). Albert’s friends on scene explained his behavior as emerging from a “concussion syndrome” associated with Albert’s time in the NFL.
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