Cal Football

Joseph Ogunbanjo Reportedly Arrested After Altercation With Police Officer

December 9, 2019

Joseph Ogunbanjo, a linebacker from Houston, Texas, was apparently involved in a serious altercation with a Berkeley officer over the weekend.

According to the website Berkeleyside, Ogunbanjo allegedly flagged down a Berkeley police officer, tried to grab his gun during a violent struggle and attempted to take his patrol vehicle.

Ogunbanjo, 19, was eventually arrested, taken to jail and then transferred to a hospital. Whether he is still in the hospital is not known. Bail was set at $195,000.

Police spokesman Byron White told Berkeleyside that a man flagged down a police car on Gayley Road near University Drive on the Cal campus at about 1 a.m. Sunday. 

“After starting a conversation with the officer at the driver’s side window, the man asked the officer about his handgun and whether or not he could drive the police vehicle. When the officer told the man that he could not drive the vehicle and directed him to step away from the police vehicle, the man forcibly opened the driver’s side door,” BPD said in a prepared statement.

After the officer exited the vehicle a violent struggle ensued in which the Ogunbanjo allegedly tried to take the officer’s gun. At one point, the man is reported to have elbowed the officer in the head and got into the driver’s seat of the patrol vehicle, according to police. 

The officer was able to call for backup. Once other officers arrived, they were able to restrain Ogunbanjo and take him into custody. The sophomore is a 6-3 and 240-pounds.

The incident occurred just hours before Cal accepted an invitation to play in the Redbox Bowl in Santa Clara.

The Cal athletic department issued the following statement. 

“We are aware of an incident involving Joseph Ogunbanjo, and the details as described by the Berkeley Police Department are troubling. While he is no longer a member of our football program, we remain concerned for his well-being.”

A few weeks ago head coach Justin Wilcox disclosed that Ogunbanjo had been “suspended indefinitely.”

Two weeks ago he said, “He has returned to the team. It’s conditional and Joe has just got to keep following through with some things on and off the field.”

Ogunbanjo is no longer with the team and Cal athletics has gone as far as to delete his profile page on

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