ATHENS — Georgia junior linebacker Natrez Patrick was arrested Thursday night after an officer initially noticed his car was left running without anybody inside it outside an Athens convenience store.
Patrick, one of the team’s starting inside linebackers, was arrested on two misdemeanor charges: Possession of less than one ounce of marijuana and parking in a prohibited area. The latter was the initial reason that an officer questioned him, according to the arrest report.
An Athens-Clarke County police officer noticed a 2002 black Pontiac Bonneville with its flashers on in front of the Lay-Z Shopper store near the intersection of Clayton and Wall Streets. The officer approached the car and saw there was no one inside, and then Patrick came out of the store.
The officer requested Patrick’s driver’s license “due to the fact he violated Georgia traffic code 40-6-203,” the report states. Patrick told the officer his wallet was in the car, and when he “opened and then closed his door quickly” the officer reported he smelled the odor of marijuana. Patrick answered no when asked if there was any marijuana in the car or anyone had recently had marijuana in the car, per the report.
“I then looked closer through the front window of the vehicle and saw numerous small pieces of marijuana,” the officer stated in his report.
At that point Patrick was placed in handcuffs, and when the officer again asked Patrick where the marijuana was, Patrick told him it was in the center console, according to the report. The officer then retrieved a small bag containing “a green leafy substance.”
Patrick was then taken to Athens-Clarke County jail, and a UGA staff member was called to retrieve Patrick’s vehicle. He was booked in jail at 11:37 p.m. and bonded out less than an hour later.
Patrick has started every game this season at inside linebacker and is tied for third on the team with 17 tackles. He was arrested two years ago on marijuana possession and suspended one game as a result of UGA’s student-athlete drug policy. A second violation calls for a four-game suspension for football players.
Georgia plays at Vanderbilt on Saturday at noon.