COLUMBIA, SC (WMBF) - Jadeveon Clowney says police had the wrong man when they searched him early Friday morning in Five Points.
Clowney said he was hanging out in Five Points with another recruit talking to fans when police approached him in the parking lot of Pavlov's on Greene Street.
Police said the reason they frisked the nation's #1 recruit is because they received reports of an armed robbery suspect in the area that matched the description of the South Carolina-bound recruit - a black male with long dreadlocks.
After searching the 18-year-old and finding no weapons, police let him go without incident.
"They put the cuffs on us, searched us and said 'we must have the wrong guys,'" said Clowney, "and he said 'you guys can go free.'"
Columbia Police Chief Randy Scott said multiple people were arrested early Friday morning for disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, drunkenness and hindering an officer while questioning Clowney and two other individuals outside the nightclub.
Scott said police were dispatched to the area around 2:30 a.m. after a 911 caller reported an attempted armed robbery involving a group of black males with long dreadlocks.
Officers made contact with the 911 caller who said the suspects fled on foot into Pavlov's, but the caller was unwilling to cooperate further or make a report, according to Scott.
Officers went into the nightclub and identified two individuals matching the caller's description. The two individuals and a third saw officers and began to try to evade them by exiting a side door, but returned inside to mix in with the crowd as officers moved to stop their exit, according to Scott.
Additional officers arrived because the 911 caller reported seeing a gun, and the three individuals; Clowney, an 18-year-old male and a 17-year-old male were detained outside of the nightclub and were frisked for officer's safety, according to Scott.
No weapons were found and Clowney and the others were determined not to be involved in the alleged attempted armed robbery and were released.
As officers questioned the three individuals, a large crowd ensued around the officers and the three detained individuals creating an officer safety concern. Additional officers responded and made arrests.
During a press conference, Steve Spurrier and Randy Scott put on a bit of a show after football practice Friday afternoon when the chief put the handcuffs on the 'old ball coach' and searched him.
When Spurrier got back to the reporters, he said "The story that we found out is that last night is that he should not have been around town at two in the morning, but he was with some teammates and they were in Five Points," said Spurrier. "They went in and questioned him, they didn't know who he was and cuffed him up, just like I got cuffed up. After chief knew that I did not rob that convenience store down the road, he let me go and last night they let Jadeveon go."
Scott said the doorman who let the 18-year old Clowney into Pavlov's has been fired.
When asked how he thought Friday morning's incident made him look Clowney he's not a troublemaker. "I thought it made me look bad, but I know I didn't do anything wrong," said Clowney. "I try to stay away from trouble as much as possible."