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Updated: June 2nd, 2012 10:20am
Vikings fullback Jerome Felton arrested on 2nd-degree DWI charge

Vikings fullback Jerome Felton arrested on 2nd-degree DWI charge

by Tom Pelissero
1500ESPN.com
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Minnesota Vikings fullback Jerome Felton was arrested by Eden Prairie police early Saturday morning on a second-degree DWI charge.

Felton, 25, refused to submit to a chemical test, police said. He was booked into Hennepin County Jail at 5:51 a.m. Saturday and released by noon after posting $12,000 bond.

An initial court appearance is scheduled for 8:15 a.m. on July 18 at Ridgedale Courthouse in Minnetonka.

"We are aware of the situation and working to gather more information," a Vikings spokesman said in a statement. "We'll have no further comment at this time."

Felton's agent, Sean Howard, declined comment. No other details on the arrest were immediately available.

According to Minnesota Statute 169A.25, refusing to submit to a chemical test upgrades the charge to second-degree DWI -- a gross misdemeanor -- if one "aggravating factor" is present, such as a blood-alcohol content over .20 or a previous DWI in the past 10 years.

A fifth-round pick in 2008 by Detroit who has appeared in 56 games for the Lions, Carolina and Indianapolis, Felton signed a one-year deal with the Vikings in March that included a minimum base salary and a $50,000 bonus tied to workouts and making the 53-man roster. He entered the offseason program as the favorite to be the Vikings' starting fullback.

It is not believed Felton has been disciplined previously under the NFL's substance-abuse or personal-conduct policies. The NFL generally doesn't punish first-time offenders of the personal-conduct policy without a conviction or guilty plea.

Felton is at least the sixth Vikings player arrested since the start of 2011 and the third on a DUI-related charge, even though the team offers a free car service to all of its players to prevent such incidents.

End Everson Griffen was arrested twice in a span of three days in January 2011, for public intoxication and felony battery of a police officer. It's unclear if he was ever charged in either case.

Cornerback Chris Cook was arrested for brandishing a weapon in March 2011 and then for felony domestic battery in October. He was acquitted in both cases.

Quarterback Rhett Bomar and safety Tyrell Johnson were arrested for DUI in August and September, respectively. Bomar didn't make the team and Johnson signed with Miami as a free agent in March.

Running back Caleb King was released a day after his April arrest on suspicion of third-degree assault with substantial bodily harm.

Cornerback Benny Sapp received a citation for misdemeanor assault and careless driving after allegedly chest-bumping a hospital security guard in December but wasn't arrested.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Tom | @TomPelissero | Tom Pelissero
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