Vikings’ Kearse jailed, accused of driving drunk with a loaded gun

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Minnesota Viking backup defensive back Jayron Kearse was pulled over early Sunday on a Minneapolis freeway while drunk and with a loaded gun in his vehicle, according to authorities.

Kearse, 25, was booked into the Hennepin County jail shortly before 5:30 a.m. by the State Patrol. He remains jailed without bail ahead of possible charges of drunken driving and possessing a gun in public without a permit.

According to the State Patrol:

Kearse drove around a construction barricade onto a closed section of eastbound Interstate 94 at Cedar Avenue, prompting a state trooper to pull him over shortly before 4 a.m.

The trooper “observed signs of alcohol impairment” and determined his blood alcohol content was at 0.10%, above the legal limit, a statement from the patrol read.

A loaded gun was found in the vehicle, the patrol statement added. Kearse was compliant during the stop, said Patrol Lt. Gordon Shank.

In a statement released late Sunday morning, the team said, “We are aware of Jayron’s arrest and are gathering additional information at this time.”

Kearse is in his fourth NFL season. The Vikings chose him in the seventh round of the 2016 draft, after he had been projected to be taken much higher and skipped his senior season with Clemson.

He has played in all but one regular season game for the Vikings since joining the team and has started in two of the team’s eight games this season.

The Vikings were off Sunday, having played on Thursday. Their next game is Nov. 3 at Kansas City vs. the Chiefs.

As a 14-year-old in 2008, Kearse was among several others in his home city of Fort Myers, Fla., who robbed two females at gunpoint at their victims’ residence.

Addressing the felony case, Kearse told the Anderson (S.C.) Independent Mail a few days before that 2016 draft, “When I did that at 14, my mom was crying. She was hurt. When I was going off to college, she was happy, she was proud of me. So I just always wanted to make sure that whatever I did, I was able to put a smile on my mom’s face.”

Staff writer Andrew Krammer contributed to this report.

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