Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Former Ridgewood High football star faces drug charge

The collegiate future of Pasco County's all-time high school football rushing leader appears in serious jeopardy after his cocaine-related arrest Sunday.

Byronell Arline, a 2008 Ridgewood graduate who spent less than a week at a Kansas junior college this summer before returning home, was arrested shortly after midnight Sunday by New Port Richey police on a felony charge of crack cocaine possession.

He was jailed in Land O'Lakes and released on $5,000 bail later that morning. Arline, 18, couldn't be reached Thursday; the most recent cell phone number the Times has for him no longer is in service.

New Port Richey police say Arline was driving on U.S. 19 near Avery Road just after midnight Sunday. An officer pulled him over because the headlights were out on his red 2005 Hyundai.

The officer asked for Arline's license and registration, and something made him want to search the car, which had three other occupants.

"There was sufficient facts and circumstances. He felt an inclination that he wanted to search the vehicle," New Port Richey police Lt. Jeff Harrington said.

Everyone got out, and the officer found two clear baggies wedged between the driver's seat and center console.

They contained a combined 0.2 ounces of crack cocaine, Harrington said.

The other three in the car were not charged, and no other illegal items were found, Harrington said. He did not release their names because they are all younger than 18.

A workhorse on the field at Ridgewood, Arline signed with Dodge City (Kansas) Community College and spent four days there over the summer before returning home.

Only two days after his arrest, Ridgewood coach Chris Taylor told the Times that Arline's prospects of landing with another college appeared good. Taylor said he had been in contact with a Mississippi community college as well as Polk County-based NAIA program Webber International.

On Thursday, Taylor said he had heard Arline got in trouble but "didn't know the intricacies of it," and hadn't been able to reach him. Taylor said he has not seen Arline lately.

"I don't know what all is going on," Taylor said. "I'm sure it's an ongoing investigation. Hopefully he's doing the right things and taking the right steps to make sure his future is still bright and successful."

Arline's father, Calvin Curtis Wood, is serving a 14-year sentence — reduced from a life sentence — in federal prison in Wildwood on charges of intent to distribute narcotics. He's set to be released in January.

"(Arline) has done a lot of good for Ridgewood High School," Taylor said. "I believe wholeheartedly in him. He's a good kid. I'll be here for him and help him in any way I possibly can."

Times staff writer Molly Moorhead contributed to this report.

>>fast facts

About Byronell Arline

At 6 feet, 230 pounds, Byronell Arline was an every-down battering ram at Ridgewood, often making defenders bounce off him like pinballs. He ran for a county-record 5,279 yards for the Rams, guiding them to the Class 4A playoffs as a senior. In his final three varsity seasons, Ridgewood improved from 1-9 to 6-4 to 9-2.

Former Ridgewood High football star faces drug charge 09/25/08 [Last modified: Friday, September 26, 2008 4:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Before Janessa Shannon's death, parents traded accusations of abuse


    TAMPA — Long before Janessa Shannon's remains were discovered in a Hillsborough County nature preserve, her parents tried to convince court officials that she was in danger.

    From her own family.

    Janessa Shannon, 13, was found dead July 12 in the Triple Creek Nature Preserve in Hillsborough County. [National Center for Missing and Exploited Children]
  2. Ronde Barber: Want intimidation? Look at past Bucs teams


    Ronde Barber says these days "it's hard to find throwbacks, where you go, 'That guy is a badass.' Where do you find that now? It's such a show-off sport." (Times 2012)
  3. ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of July 16, 2017


    Seems like Broward County has started a domino effect. It was the first school board to commit to filing a lawsuit against the state and its controversial education bill, House Bill 7069. Then, the St. Lucie County School Board signed on, too. A running tally of school boards that have reportedly expressed interested in …

    Kali Davis (left), training director for Springboard to Success, helps to coach Justin Black (center), who will be starting his third year of teaching PE at Melrose Elementary, as he works to instruct students in a math lesson during the Spring Board program of Summer Bridge at Woodlawn Elementary School in St. Petersburg.
  4. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally


    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.