OBITUARIES: Decatur | Shoals | Huntsville
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McClain in trouble again
NFL athlete charged with giving a false name after signing citation with expletive
By Seth Burkett
The Decatur Daily

Daily photo by Brennen Smith
Oakland Raiders linebacker and Decatur native Rolando McClain leaves the Decatur City Jail on Tuesday after posting bail for a charge of giving a false name to law enforcement.

Officers arrested NFL player Rolando McClain on a charge of giving a false name to law enforcement Tuesday after he signed a citation for overly dark window tint as “(Expletive) y’all,” Decatur police said.

When a patrol supervisor asked McClain to put his real name on the ticket, McClain told the sergeant, “That is my name,” said police spokesman Lt. John Crouch.

Crouch said McClain, 23, who was booked into Decatur City Jail shortly after 4 p.m. on the misdemeanor and the window tint violation, could have avoided arrest simply by signing his name to the ticket.

He was released on $1,000 cash bail a short time later.

“I’m falsely accused of everything,” the Oakland Raiders linebacker said before climbing into his white Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 and driving from the parking lot of City Hall. “It’s corrupt. It’s terrible.”

Under Alabama law, a person commits a crime if he gives a false name to an officer “with intent to mislead the officer.”

It was the second time in just over a year that the former Decatur High player and University of Alabama All-American has had a run-in with the law in his hometown.

In November 2011, McClain was accused of assaulting former friend Rishard Tapscott.

A video of the fight that led to McClain’s arrest surfaced in May, but the video did not show McClain striking Tapscott, brandishing a firearm, firing it near Tapscott’s ear or threatening to kill him, though those allegations were among complaints filed by Tapscott in court.

McClain was convicted of all charges and handed a six-month jail sentence in May, but following appeal of the case to circuit court, a judge dismissed the case in November after Tapscott decided to drop the charges, according to court records.

Asked if he believes police are out to get him, McClain said, “Yes. You said it. I answered it.”

Police said officer Derek Annerton was unable to recognize the driver when he met the southbound Silverado on Central Parkway Southwest.

“The tint was so dark that he immediately recognized that it was darker than what’s allowed by law. He couldn’t tell anything about the driver — couldn’t tell if it was male or female,” Crouch said.

Annerton did not recognize McClain until after McClain had pulled over on Corsbie Street Southeast and rolled his window down, Crouch said.

Crouch said when Annerton asked for a driver’s license and proof of insurance, McClain said, “You know who I am.”

McClain told the officer he had a letter from his doctor about the window tint, which he later produced. The printed letter stated he had “photosensitivity and needed maximum ultraviolet radiation protection to include window tinting,” Crouch said.

Annerton asked him twice to roll the window up partially so he could check the tint, and McClain refused both times, Crouch said.

“He tells the officer he’s got a letter from his doctor and that’s all he needs,” Crouch said.

Annerton called for a supervisor to meet him, and Sgt. Stan Elliott responded.
McClain eventually did roll up his window enough for Annerton to use a tint meter, which measures how much light can go through the window, and determine the tint was too dark, Crouch said.

“Sgt. Elliott told McClain that type of doctor’s recommendation should have been written on a medical prescription, to which McClain responded that Sgt. Elliott was not the officer that stopped him, so McClain didn’t have anything to say to him,” Crouch said.

Elliott told McClain he would be issued a ticket and could present any doctor’s orders on his court date.

“McClain took (the ticket) and appeared to sign it, but when officer Annerton got the ticket book back, he saw that McClain had written ‘(Expletive) y’all’ instead of signing his name,” Crouch said.

After McClain refused to sign his real name, Annerton and Elliott arrested him on the false information charge and took him to jail.

The vehicle was turned over to a female passenger.

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