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Prosecutor drops charges against football player Brian Edwards

Central Michigan defensive back Brian Edwards waits in line for his turn during a drill in practice Sept. 3 at the East Grass Field.

Prosecuting attorney David Barberi has dismissed charges against Central Michigan football player Brian Edwards for resisting and obstructing a police officer and disturbing the peace.

Edwards was arrested Nov. 25 and lodged in the Isabella County Jail that night at 7:05 p.m. He was arraigned on a felony charge for resisting and obstructing, as well as a misdemeanor for disturbing the peace.

Those charges, which were issued by an Isabella County assistant prosecutor, have been wiped away.

"While the arrest was undoubtedly valid and the charges fit by textbook standards, looking at the totality of the circumstances, I believe a dismissal is appropriate at this time," Barberi said. 

Edwards was scheduled for a preliminary examination at 9 a.m. Thursday. He had a Dec. 5 probable cause conference.

The defensive back was arrested after an on-campus altercation with university police.

Lt. Cameron Wassman of CMUPD said university police responded to Edwards "behaving erratically and threatening to harm himself." As officers made contact, he fled on foot.

Since his arrest, Edwards has taken steps through the "appropriate channels" to seek treatment for the "underlying issues" that led to his behavior, Barberi said.

"Upon further review of the facts of the case, and the underlying issues and events occurring prior to the arrest," Barberi added, "this is a matter best handled outside the criminal justice system."

Edwards was chased by officers and eventually located in the East Complex residential restaurant, also known as Fresh Food Company. He "repeatedly resisted" attempts to comply, and a physical confrontation broke out.

One CMUPD officer was treated for minor injuries from the physical altercation with Edwards. The officer was the only person injured.

"The actions of CMU police were warranted and helped diffuse the situation quickly," Barberi said. "It was only after giving careful consideration to the information provided to us after the arrest that we were able to make the determination that moving forward with a criminal case was not the most appropriate route to take."

By seeking assistance from outside the criminal justice system, Barberi said he believes Edwards will avoid a similar situation in the future.

Edwards came to Central Michigan from the University of Florida, where he was recruited to play for the Gators by Jim McElwain, who was the head coach there from 2015-17.

McElwain is in his first year as the head coach for the Chippewas and brought Edwards to Mount Pleasant before the start of fall practice in August.

"First and foremost, I obviously recruited Brian. He's a wonderful kid," McElwain said to Central Michigan Life in August. "I love his mom. One thing I always tell every one of the kids I recruit is, 'I'm here for you, and I'll do everything I can to help you.'"

Before joining Central Michigan, Edwards was arrested for first-degree misdemeanor battery of his girlfriend on May 6, 2019. He spent time at the Alachua County Jail in Gainesville, Florida, but the charges were later dropped.

Edwards has not played in the 2019 season for Central Michigan due to NCAA transfer rules.