Minnesota Vikings legend Everson Griffen was reportedly arrested in the Twin Cities on Saturday. According to records from Carver County Jail, the former defensive end was taken into police custody at 12:42 on that day and released an hour later.
The 35-year-old was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated in Chanhassen, though it remains uncertain whether formal charges were filed.
A four-time Pro Bowler, Griffen enjoyed a decade-long tenure with the Vikings before departing in 2020 and briefly joining the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions. He returned to the Vikings for another season in 2021.
The former defensive star has encountered challenges related to mental health, and two years ago, he disclosed being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. This revelation followed two significant incidents in Minnesota.
An incident report said the deputy activated their emergency lights and sirens after witnessing a vehicle’s “reckless and erratic” driving, but the driver continued moving at “a high rate of speed.” The deputy said the driver, later identified as Griffen, was also illegally passing vehicles while the officer attempted to catch up to him.
The vehicle eventually pulled over, the incident report said, and Griffen “performed poorly” when given a field sobriety test. Court documents said that Griffen had a .099 breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) during his preliminary breath test and then a .09 DMT sample when at Carver County Jail. The deputy also said there was a faint smell of alcohol, adding that the driver’s eyes were “very bloodshot, watery, and glassy,” according to the court documents, and Griffen told the deputy he was coming back from a casino on his way to a restaurant’s grand opening.
Griffen spent 11 seasons with the Vikings and has the fourth-most career sacks in franchise history. He’s been an advocate for mental health since posting on Instagram in December of 2021 that he had bipolar disorder.
Authorities say his blood alcohol content was .09. He was charged with five misdemeanors in connection with driving under the influence, reckless driving and speeding in a construction zone.
Griffen has struggled with mental health issues over the years.
While he was with the Vikings, Griffen was placed on the non-football illness list following an incident at his Minnetrista home on Nov. 24, 2021, in which he posted a since-deleted disturbing video on Instagram that showed him holding a handgun and expressing concern for his safety. He called 911 to report an intruder, but none was found. Police and mental health officials worked for several hours to get Griffen to come out of his home before he was taken by ambulance to a mental health facility.
Griffen called 911 shortly after 3 a.m. from his Minnetrista home on Nov. 24, 2021, saying someone was with him, and that he needed help from law enforcement. He also told the dispatcher that he fired one round but no one was wounded, police said. They added no intruder was found.
The same day, Griffen had posted, then deleted, a video on Instagram saying people were trying to kill him as he held a gun in his hand. He was alone inside the house, with police outside, until he emerged and agreed to be taken for treatment. Vikings mental health professionals assisted for several hours.
Griffen also spent four weeks undergoing mental health treatment in 2018 after two incidents that September — one at the Hotel Ivy in downtown Minneapolis, the other at his home in Minnetrista — prompted police involvement. He later revealed he lived in a sober house for the remainder of the 2018 season.
The fourth-round draft choice out of USC returned to play 17 of the Vikings’ 18 regular-season and postseason games in 2019. He spent 2020 with Dallas and Detroit before the Vikings brought him back for the 2021 season in a one-year deal.
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