Ex-NFL Player Arrested For Threatening High School
Van Nuys, CA - Former NFL player Jonathan Martin, whose chilling social media post prompted his alma mater high school to close down in February, surrendered himself to authorities inside a California courtroom on Tuesday.
Martin subsequently pleaded not guilty to four counts of making criminal threats, and one count of carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle, ESPN reported.
He was released from jail less than two hours later, according to TMZ.
Martin, 28, was taken into custody on Feb. 23, after he posted a photo of a shotgun with 18 shells scattered around it on Instagram.
“When you’re a bully victim & a coward, your options are suicide, or revenge,” he wrote.
He tagged the Miami Dolphins in the photo, as well as the elite Harvard-Westlake High School, where he graduated in 2008, the Miami Herald reported.
The school’s name was written along the weapon’s barrel, and the team’s name appeared along the gun’s stock.
Police said that Martin was also in possession of an ax, a shotgun, and a large knife when he was arrested, according to The Mercury News.
School officials responded by closing down their Studio City and Beverly Crest campuses for one day, and filing a workplace violence prevention restraining order against the former lineman on Mar. 1, ESPN reported.
Martin also tagged his former high-school classmate, James Dunleavy, in the post. Dunleavy, who went on to play basketball for the University of Southern California, is also the son of former NBA coach Mike Dunleavy.
Former Miami Dolphins teammates Mike Pouncey and Richie Incognito were among the names tagged in the photo, both of whom Martin accused of bullying when he abruptly left the team in 2013.
A subsequent NFL-sanctioned investigation determined that Incognito and Pouncey had engaged in a “pattern of harassment” against Martin, to include “sexually explicit remarks,” and “racial insults,” CNN reported.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Martin went on to play for the San Francisco 49ers and the Carolina Panthers, before he retired from the NFL in 2015, due to a back injury.
After his retirement, Martin said that the perpetual abuse he experienced in the NFL led him to contemplate suicide. He said he also struggled while attending Harvard-Westlake, because he was “one of just a handful of minorities” at the school, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“You learn to tone down your size & blackness by becoming shy, introverted, friendly, so you won't scare the little rich white kids or their parents," Martin posted to social media in 2015. "Neither black nor white people accept you because they don't understand you. It takes away from your self-confidence, your self-worth, your sanity."
Earlier in March, a law enforcement source said that Martin was in a mental health facility, ESPN reported.
He faces up to six years in prison if he is convicted, and is scheduled to return to court on April 25.