Prior to trade from Titans, Isaiah Wilson arrested at gunpoint in Georgia

By John Glennon

Two months before the Titans traded him, former first-round draft pick Isaiah Wilson was arrested at gunpoint and charged with multiple offenses following a high-speed car chase in Georgia, according to the Barrow County (Ga.) Sheriff’s Department.

In the early hours of Jan. 7, just a few days before his teammates were scheduled to play Baltimore in a first-round playoff game, Wilson was arrested in Barrow County, which is about 25 miles northwest of Athens, Ga., where Wilson played at the University of Georgia.

Wilson was booked and charged with the following, according to the Barrow County Sheriff’s Office: fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer for a felony offense; speeding in a construction zone; reckless driving; marijuana possession of less than one ounce; possession and use of drug-related objects; and reckless conduct.

After posting a $7,000 bond, Wilson was released on the morning of Jan. 8, per the incident report.

It was not immediately clear whether the incident had processed through the court system yet, as a representative for the Barrow County District Attorney’s office said the court’s scheduling details are not shared with outside parties.    

Asked if the Titans were aware of the incident, a spokesman for the team said it had no comment.

The Titans placed Wilson on the reserve/non-football illness list last December, with general manager Jon Robinson saying at the time that Wilson “is dealing with some personal issues, which will take some time for him to work through.” Robinson said last month he had not personally spoken to Wilson since then, but that he’d maintained contact through third parties.

Earlier this month, the Titans traded Wilson along with a 2022 seventh-round pick to Miami for a seventh-round pick in the upcoming draft. The Dolphins cut Wilson days after the trade, amidst reports Wilson had refused efforts to help get his life back on track.

It’s unclear if the Dolphins knew at the time of the trade about Wilson’s January arrest.

An NFL spokesman declined comment on that question, as well as whether or not the league had been made aware of the incident. Wilson’s agent, Todd France, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

According to the Barrow County Sheriff’s Department incident report, the pursuit of Wilson began at about 3:50 a.m. on Jan. 7, when Officer Stephen Kinney observed a dark-colored Dodge Charger with Tennessee license plates fly past him traveling eastward on University Parkway. Activating his radar, Kinney clocked the vehicle going 123 miles per hour, then activated his emergency lights and siren in an attempt to catch the vehicle and initiate a traffic stop.

Kinney began to catch up to the vehicle before he noticed it accelerating away, and he advised his dispatch office that speeds of the chase had reached 140 miles per hour, according to the report. A second officer joined in the pursuit at about that same time.

Per the report, Kinney pursued the Charger into neighboring Oconee County before he was advised – by radio – to terminate the pursuit because of the high rates of speed.

But just a few moments later, Kinney was told by dispatch that an undercover ICE Agent had seen the same Charger crash off the road – and that the ICE agent was currently holding the driver at gunpoint.

Per the report, Kinney responded to the scene and saw the Charger about 100 yards off the road in a briar patch, with a black male – later identified as Wilson – standing up in the car with the upper half of his body out of the sunroof. Also standing up in the car in the same manner was a female – later identified as Grace Barnett. While Wilson was still being held at gunpoint, he was instructed to get into a prone position, where he was handcuffed. Barnett was handcuffed as well and placed in the back of Kinney’s patrol car.

Kinney said he asked Wilson why he’d sped up after seeing the emergency lights activated, with Wilson telling him “that he had past experiences with law enforcement recently and he was scared,” per the report. Wilson went on to say he thought that at the speed he was traveling he would go to jail, so he just kept on going.

During an inventory of the car, officers found a metal grinder – with 3.4 grams of marijuana inside – in the center console, according to the report.

Wilson and Barnett were arrested and taken to Barrow County Detention Center for booking.

There, Barnett’s purse was found to have a small bag containing .2 grams of Acid, per the report. Asked by Kinney what was in the bag, Barnett lowered her head and said, “o fuck, It’s acid,” according to the wording of the report.

Wilson had a nightmarish saga with the Titans, beginning when he arrived for training camp and was placed on the team’s COVID-19 list for the first of two times. In August, Wilson was given a trespassing warning by Tennessee State University police during a party at an off-campus residence.

A month later, Wilson was charged with DUI after police said he crashed his Dodge Charger into a concrete wall near the intersection of 25th Ave. North and Charlotte Ave.

Wilson was suspended for the Titans’ Dec. 6 game against Cleveland for violating team rules, and days later was placed on the reserve/non-football illness list. He would end up playing just four snaps the entire season – three on offense, one on special teams.

When he last spoke publicly of Wilson in February, Robinson expressed the team’s frustration with the talented and mountainous right tackle.

“We’ve tried to exhaust a lot of resources trying to help him,” Robinson said at that point. “But at the end of the day, he’s going to have to make a determination if he wants to do things the way we want it done.”

Comments

  1. Good to see your stories again, John. I gave up on The Athletic right after you left. Thanks for the follow-up on Wilson. He needs some serious help as he has spiraled out of control downward. The grave awaits him if it continues.

    1. As insensitive as this sounds, the Titans would be doing Wilson a favor if they can, and do, go after any of the money he has been paid. It’s only amplifying his issues and he needs a reboot…

    2. Appreciate the props. Thanks for reading … The really frightening thing is that every time he hits what seems to be rock bottom, there’s no rock bottom. Nothing seems to change.

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