ORANGE, Texas — Former NFL defensive back Earl Thomas was arrested Friday in his Texas hometown, two weeks after a warrant was issued following his alleged violation of a court protective order, authorities said.
Thomas, 33, who played for the Seattle Seahawks for nine of his 10 NFL seasons, was arrested by the Orange Police Department after receiving a tip from a restaurant patron, WFAA-TV reported.
A customer at Spanky’s Bar and Grill in Orange saw Thomas at around 8:35 p.m. CDT and called authorities, according to the television station.
Thomas was arrested and charged with violating the court order, according to Orange County Sheriff’s Department online booking records.
An arrest warrant for Thomas was issued in Austin on April 27 after police said he violated the protective order by sending threatening messages to a woman about her and her children, ESPN reported.
He now faces a third-degree felony for at least two violations within 12 months of the protective order, which was issued in May 2021, the sports network reported.
The protective order requires Thomas to communicate with the woman only through a co-parenting phone application, WFAA reported. The woman claimed Thomas has refused to download the app and arrives unannounced at places she visits, the television station reported, citing a police affidavit.
The woman claimed that Thomas began sending threatening text messages last month, including an alleged message on April 18, when he said he had two handguns, according to WFAA.
“Waiting on hand in foot is why I’ll kick ur (expletive),” Thomas allegedly wrote.
Thomas, a seven-time Pro Bowl safety, has not played since 2020, according to Pro-Football Reference. He was cut by the Baltimore Ravens after he punched a teammate during a preseason practice, WFAA reported.
Thomas, who was born in Orange, played for West Orange-Stark High School and graduated in 2007, according to the television station. He also played for the University of Texas from 2008 to 2010.
He was a first-round pick of the Seahawks -- and No. 14 overall -- in the 2010 NFL draft.
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