SANTA CLARA (KRON) – San Francisco 49ers’ Aldon Smith issued an apology to his supporters Friday morning following his overnight arrest in Santa Clara, but the star linebacker explained that the situation is a misunderstanding.
Smith was arrested for driving under the influence, hit-and-run, and vandalism, according to the Santa Clara Police Department. Details surrounding the incident have not been released.
“I want everybody to understand this wasn’t a DUI,” Smith said after his release from the Santa Clara County Jail in San Jose.
Smith didn’t offer any information about what led to his arrest but said the “situation that happened could have been handled differently.”
“I apologize to everybody I did let down and apologize for how it all played out,” Smith said. “As far as everything is concerned, it’ll work out how it’s supposed to work out.”
Smith was booked into jail early Friday morning on $26,000 bail. Smith was on probation after pleading no contest last year to three illegal gun charges and two DUI charges in Santa Clara County.
San Francisco general manager Trent Baalke said Tuesday night that the 49ers had been planning to sign the linebacker beyond this season despite his troubled past. It’s unclear what the team will do in light of this latest incident.
“Aldon’s like any young player, he’s growing up, he’s maturing. You see that with a lot of these guys,” Baalke said Tuesday. “Some of them get themselves in a few more situations that you wish they didn’t. If you asked them, I think they’d say the same thing. Really pleased with the way he’s handled things, the way he’s working both personally and professionally. I think he’s doing an outstanding job. He’s always been a great teammate. He’s always had an excellent work ethic.”
Smith was previously arrested on April 13, 2014, at Los Angeles International Airport. Police said Smith was randomly selected for a secondary screening and became uncooperative with the process, telling a TSA agent that he had a bomb. No charges were filed.
Smith missed time the previous season to undergo treatment at an inpatient facility following his DUI arrest on Sept. 20, 2013. That November, he pleaded not guilty to three felony counts of illegal possession of an assault weapon, stemming from a June 2012 party at his home.
Smith, who when at his best is one of the game’s top pass-rushers, is entering a contract year after missing the first nine games of 2014 serving an NFL suspension for violations of the league’s substance-abuse and personal-conduct policies.
“We don’t talk about what we’re doing within negotiations,” Baalke said Tuesday. “I think he understands, his agent understands what we would like to do, and we’re going to work hard at it. Now when that gets done, if it gets done during the season, I can’t answer that. He knows where we stand and my understanding is he would love to be here, and we would certainly love to keep him here.”