Eagles' Nate Allen details his jail ordeal
Eagles safety Nate Allen was pulled over by police Monday in Fort Myers, Fla., near where he grew up. Eventually, Allen says, he was told he was accused of masturbating in front of a woman or women at a busy intersection. Allen denies the accusation. Fort Myers police say their investigation continues.
Nate Allen said Tuesday that his Monday evening trip to the Fort Myers, Fla., lockup began when he got in his truck after leaving a restaurant around 5 p.m.
Allen said as he began his drive home, he called a friend and former high school football teammate. They chatted for quite a while, and when the police cruiser pulled Allen over, he said he figured he was being flagged for talking on his phone, or maybe for not wearing his seatbelt.
Allen said the officer asked if he had ever been arrested. "I said, 'What? No.' Then he said, 'are you sure?' And then he said something about a girl saying I'd made a pass at her. I said 'I have no idea what you're talking about.' "
Allen said eventually, a woman sitting in the back of another police cruiser ID'd him and he was taken into custody, still without knowing what he was alleged to have done.
"I had no idea," he said. "I sat in a holding cell for 4 1/2 hours. I seriously thought I was being punked, at first."
Finally, he was questioned by a detective, Allen said. The detective told him that a woman or women - Allen isn't sure which - had accused him of "masturbating while making faces at them" from the cab of his custom-wheeled Ford F-250 pickup at a busy intersection on Cleveland Ave., a major Fort Myers roadway.
"Forget football," said Allen, who is set to become a free agent next month and undoubtedly will have to explain the incident to any team that might want to sign him. "Being associated with something this disgusting is repulsive. I have a 17-year-old sister, a niece ... Anybody would want to destroy someone" who would do such a thing, he said.
Allen said before he was released, he was told the woman or women had initially described the offender as being 45-to-50-years old, with curly hair. Allen is 27 and keeps his hair cut close to the skull. He also said he was wearing a hat while driving home.
Fort Myers police spokesman Lt. Victor Medico issued a statement Tuesday that read: "The Nate Allen investigation remains active. Allen is no longer in police custody and has not been charged with a crime at this time. The Fort Myers Police Department is currently working with the 20th Judicial Circuit Court State Attorney's Office for case review."
Allen said he told the police he wanted them to keep investigating, and particularly to look for traffic or security camera video that might show what actually happened.
Allen said he wishes he could talk with his accusers. He said he doesn't know if they mistook him for someone else or for some unknown reason made up the encounter, but he said "the truth will be known."
Allen said he is still in shock over "how easy it is to have an accusation like this attached to your name."
Allen was an Eagles' second-round draft choice in 2010 from South Florida. He is well-known as a former high school star in the Fort Myers area.
Before this happened, the Eagles seemed ready to move on from Allen, at least as a starting safety.