PITTSBURGH — Cincinnati Bengals receiver Tyler Boyd was charged Thursday with owning a vape pen containing the active ingredient in marijuana that police say was found when his friend crashed the NFL player’s vehicle in July.
Boyd, 22, who starred at the University of Pittsburgh after a stellar career at suburban Clairton High School, lent his car to a friend who crashed it about 3 a.m. on July 12, Jefferson Hills police said in a criminal complaint filed Wednesday.
Police found an open bottle of cognac and an unopened bottle of peach vodka in the Mercedes Benz, along with two vape pens and several unopened vape cartridges containing THC, the complaint said.
Boyd told police in an interview two days later that he had loaned the car to a friend who was to drive to the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, then return to pick up Boyd elsewhere in Pittsburgh later. When that didn’t happen and the friend didn’t return text messages, Boyd told police he fell asleep.
When Boyd and the friend went to retrieve the vehicle from a towing pound, they were met by police. Boyd later acknowledged one of the vape pens was his, the complaint said.
Lab tests confirmed the THC.
Boyd’s attorney, Daniel Konieczka, acknowledged Boyd made a statement to police but told The Associated Press on Friday, “There’s some confusion exactly what the statement encompassed.” Konieczka said he disputes that Boyd specifically acknowledged ownership of the vape pen.
The police complaint also refers to a witness who called 911 to report the crash who saw two men near the vehicle. Konieczka stressed that Boyd wasn’t present, and police have not accused him of being there.
The friend, Armani Ford, 22, of Clairton, was also charged Wednesday with possessing a vape pen and not being licensed to do so, the same two drug charges Boyd faces.
Ford is also charged with speeding, not staying in his lane, careless driving, having an accident involving property — in this case a guard rail — and not immediately reporting the crash to police. Online court records don’t list an attorney for Ford.
The men are due in court for a preliminary hearing Nov. 15.
The Bengals said in a statement they are aware of the media report and are gathering more information.