Allen Park — For a young man who was born in a prison and spent most of his young life trying to outrun the former lifestyle of his parents, the Lions' Mikel Leshoure has hit another bump in the road.
The running back was arrested twice in less than a month on marijuana possession charges — first, on Feb. 18 in Benton Township and again on March 12 in Baroda Lake Township, both in southwest Michigan.
He accepted a lesser charge of marijuana use on the first arrest and paid a $485 fine. He was scheduled for a walk-in arraignment Monday on a possession charge in Berrien County court on the second.
He was supposed to have his arraignment between 2 and 4 p.m. According to court personnel, he did not appear during that two-hour window. Court personnel said it's not unusual for defendants to get some leeway in misdemeanor cases and another arraignment date could be scheduled. Ultimately though, a warrant will be issued for his arrest if he fails to appear.
"We are aware of the reports," said Lions spokesperson Bill Keenist. "We are gathering more information and have no further comment at this time."
Leshoure, who failed a drug test at Illinois in 2009, was the Lions' second-round pick in 2011. He missed his rookie season after tearing his Achilles tendon early in training camp. All reports about his rehabilitation have been positive.
Coach Jim Schwartz, at the NFL league meetings last week, said of Leshoure, "I never put timetables on these things but I would be surprised if he wasn't ready before (training camp)."
The Lions are supposed to begin offseason workouts the week of April 16.
A misdemeanor possession charge generally doesn't carry jail time, though Leshoure is likely to face probation and a stiffer fine. Once the legal action is complete, he also is likely to face punishment from the league.
According to the NFL's personal conduct policy, Leshoure could face a fine and/or suspension.
Both of Leshoure's arrests came after traffic stops. He was driving the first time and was a passenger the second time. Presumably, he was driving back and forth from his workouts at the Lions' facility in Allen Park to his home in Champaign, Ill.
On March 12, Baroda Lake Township police pulled over a 2012 Mitsubishi SUV driving west on I-94. Officers observed Leshoure in the passenger side "chewing marijuana," according to the police report. The officer also saw some weed spilled down the front of his shirt.
"He was cooperative," said Baroda Lake chief of police Gary Ruhl. "We told him to spit (the weed) out so he wouldn't get sick and he did."
According to the report, the amount of marijuana found in the car was minimal, just enough for personal use.
Leshoure, who turned 22 last Friday, was born inside Dwight Correctional Center in downstate Illinois, where his mother Jacqueline Frasier-Jones was serving time on a narcotics conviction. His father, too, was a drug addict and incarcerated.
Both were clean and present on draft day in 2011 when the Lions took Leshoure with the 57th pick. Leshoure has that date — 4-29-11 — tattooed on his left forearm.
"This is the date of the draft and it's never going to change," Leshoure said. "This is the biggest day of my life, by far. I have accomplished a lot of things in my life, but to be drafted by the Lions was the biggest step."
Leshoure is the second member of the Lions' 2011 draft class to get arrested this offseason. Offensive lineman Johnny Culbreath, also on injured reserve last season, was charged with marijuana possession in South Carolina.