Ohio State running back Bri’onte Dunn had his day in Municipal Court Friday, where a magistrate acquitted him of disorderly conduct.
Magistrate Jean Madden found the evidence insufficient after hearing from four witnesses, including Dunn, during a bench trial. The disorderly conduct charge was a minor misdemeanor and didn’t carry any jail time.
Madden found Dunn, 19, guilty of traffic violations involving license plate illumination and not wearing a seatbelt, for which she fined him $60 plus court costs.
The case stemmed from a July 28 incident when police stopped a car Dunn was driving after it allegedly almost hit a police cruiser at a blinking red light.
Police said they found a small amount of marijuana and a pipe in the car, which was registered to Dunn’s mother, and initially cited Dunn and his 18-year-old passenger for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
But a review of the evidence didn’t support those charges, according to the city Law Department, and Dunn was charged with disorderly conduct.
During Friday’s trial, Law Director Andrew Zumbar called three witnesses: Police officer Robert Rajcan; Dunn’s passenger that night, McKensey Cross; and Dunn’s mother, Donna Hatcher.
Cross, who pleaded no contest last week to disorderly conduct, said she and Dunn were both smoking marijuana.
Hatcher told the court the marijuana was in her car before she loaned the vehicle to her son, but said she didn’t know how it got there, according to Zumbar.
When Dunn took the stand, he denied smoking marijuana, and defense attorney Eugene O’Byrne presented the results of a drug test showing Dunn was negative for marijuana and other drugs after the incident.
While that testimony concerned the circumstances of the traffic stop, the disorderly conduct charge was based on Dunn almost striking the police cruiser and then impeding the flow of traffic for about 25 minutes as police searched for marijuana.
Madden ruled that those facts were insufficient to support a conviction.
After the verdict, Zumbar said he wouldn’t ask Judge Robert Lavery to review Madden’s decision.
Dunn, a GlenOak High School graduate and standout football player, is a freshman at Ohio State.
A message was left Friday with O’Byrne seeking comment.