Three days before his trial on 2015 drug charges, former NFL running back Dantrell Montganner Savage was arrested Friday by Columbus Police on charges of misdemeanor obstruction and traffic offenses.
Savage went live on Facebook about noon Friday and recorded his arrest by Officer Michael Aguilar, a member of the department’s Special Operations Unit. Savage’s video lasted more than seven minutes before he was taken into custody.
The Facebook live video got more than 150 shares and 8,000 views over the weekend.
Savage, 33, was pulled over while driving his 2010 Acura sedan near the Warm Springs Connector and Manchester Expressway for failure to maintain his lane, according to a police report.
Savage urged those watching the Facebook video to share it.
“You know they f—–g with me again,” he said. “For what particular reason, I don’t know.”
He stayed live as Aguilar went to his patrol car and then returned to Savage’s vehicle. The officer was asking about proof of insurance.
He asked Savage if he had any illegal narcotics or weapons in the vehicle. Savage did not immediately respond. The standoff lasted several minutes as a second police vehicle with a drug dog pulled up, said Savage’s attorney Stacey Jackson. After the second police car arrived, Aguilar told Savage he was going to search the vehicle.
Savage argued with the officer.
“The problem is you’re not listening,” Aguilar told Savage.
Savage again refused to let police search the vehicle. Aguilar then charged Savage with obstruction. Police also cited Savage for failing to maintain his traffic lane and having a cracked windshield.
“I find it ironic that since 2015, he hasn’t had any run-ins with anyone, then the Friday before the trial a Special Operations officer pulls him over and keeps him there long enough for a dog to do an open-air search,” Jackson said. “Even with probable cause, they didn’t find anything.”
Police found nothing illegal when they searched Savage’s vehicle, Jackson said.
Savage was released on bond Friday afternoon.
On October 27, 2015, Savage was charged with possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute it and possessing drug-related objects. His trial before Superior Court Judge Ron Mullins is to begin Tuesday. He also faces a third charge of possessing methamphetamine, according to court records.
Attorneys picked a jury Monday.
Savage and codefendant Jessie James Smith Sr., now 53, were arrested in 2015 at a 33rd Street gym named Savage Fitness Evolution, where Savage had two plastic bags containing a total 28 grams of meth, police said. He and Smith also had three digital scales, investigators said.
The arrests stemmed from an undercover drug sting in which the Columbus Police Department Special Operations Unit twice had an informant use marked cash to purchase meth while recording the transaction on surveillance cameras, authorities said.
The informant dealt with Smith, who told police he was a gym employee, investigators said. Savage was nearby during one transaction, and Smith referred to Savage during the second buy, saying he needed to go see “T,” Savage’s nickname, police Cpl. Vincent Dragnett testified during a preliminary hearing in Columbus Recorder’s Court.
The first transaction was Oct. 7, 2015, in the gym’s garage area, and the next was the following Oct. 15, officers said. They served a search warrant at the gym 12 days later.
During the search, police confiscated $44,500 in cash, which Savage said came from a settlement involving an accident, Dragnett testified.
Smith pleaded guilty Sept. 26, 2016 to possessing meth with the intent to distribute it, and possessing drug-related objects. Prosecutors dropped two counts of selling meth, and Mullins sentenced Smith to five years in prison with 36 months to serve and the rest on probation.
A graduate of Columbus’ Jordan High School, Savage was signed to the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent out of Oklahoma State. He played with the Chiefs for two seasons, mostly serving on special teams before getting cut in March 2010.
He was signed to the Carolina Panthers in August 2010, but was released before the 2010-11 season started.