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Former Football Star Arrested for Investigation of Beating Fiancee

August 22, 1986

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Former football star Jim Brown was arrested Friday for investigation of beating his fiancee, who called police for help from a locked bedroom of Brown’s Hollywood home.

Brown, 50, an all-pro running back with the Cleveland Browns who later turned to acting, returned home after posting $5,000 bail to find Debra Clark, 22, moving out under the protection of police officers, said Sgt. Chuck Urso.

″The officers stood by her while she took her stuff and left,″ Urso said. ″There weren’t any problems.″

Urso identified Ms. Clark as Brown’s fiancee, and said she was treated for a bruise under her eye and another on her side.

Brown was booked for investigation of spousal battery, a felony. A couple need not be married in order for the statute to apply, Urso said.

Brown has been accused of attacking people at least three times before in Los Angeles. In two cases, charges were dismissed or dropped by prosecutors. He was fined once.

Ms. Clark’s pre-dawn call to police followed an argument that began about 3 a.m., after several houseguests went to bed, Urso said.

″She and Brown got involved in a verbal altercation about a jealousy thing that happened a few days ago,″ Urso said.

Brown hit her, Ms. Clark reported.

″She ran into one of the bedrooms to get away from him and locked herself in and called us from the bedroom,″ Urso said. The sergeant said she managed to slip out of the house, armed with a .45-caliber pistol, and met police outside.

Brown was arrested without incident.

Brown, described on the police booking log as 6-foot-2 and 235 pounds, listed his occupation as a self-employed entrepreneur.

A National Football League Hall of Famer, Brown finished his nine-year career with the Browns in 1965. He was the league’s all-time leading rusher until Chicago’s Walter Payton surpassed his mark in 1984.

His movie credits include ″The Dirty Dozen,″ ″The Mercenaries″ and ″Ice Station Zebra.″

Last year, rape and assault charges against him were dropped after a prosecutor said evidence failed to support allegations that he had attacked a woman at his home.

Earlier, he had been fined $500 and served a day in jail for a 1978 conviction for beating up a golf partner in an argument about placement of the ball on greens.

Misdemeanor charges of battery and disturbing the peace against Brown were dismissed in 1971 after two young women who accused him of attacking them failed to testify at his trial.