Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers guard Arron Sears, who had been jailed since February for a charge of battery on a law enforcement officer, has been released and his case has been closed after the state admitted him into a mental health diversion program.
Sears was released on Tuesday after being held since February 2 after the agreement was approved Monday. Sears now will enter the 18-month program that includes mandates for outpatient treatment and taking any prescribed medication as well as other requirements. If Sears complies, the charge will be dropped. If he makes significant progress, the program could be terminated early, according to court records.
Sears had been hospitalized on multiple occasions in the past year under the Baker Act, a law that permits police to take persons into custody who are believed to be mentally unstable or a danger to themselves. The alleged battery happened in June at Tampa General Hospital on one of those occasions, with officers forced to use a stun gun to corral Sears. The officer who was the victim of the battery was required to consent to Sears' entry into the program.
Sears took a leave from the Bucs in the spring of 2009 after he began displaying odd behavior, then was released for good last year when club officials determined he had a setback in his recovery.
A 2007 second-round draft pick of the Buccaneers, Sears became an immediate starter for the club and was one of its best offensive linemen before his troubles began.