Kansas State junior guard Amaad Wainright was arrested Tuesday in Kansas City by U.S. Marshals and has been charged in Johnson County with two felonies: fleeing and eluding and obstruction.
Wainright was arrested about 2 p.m. Tuesday in Kansas City, according to Craig Beam, chief deputy for the U.S. Marshals Service in Kansas. Wainright has been suspended indefinitely from the Wildcats basketball team.
“We are aware of Amaad’s situation, and due to the seriousness of the charges he has been indefinitely suspended from our men’s basketball team per athletic department policy," K-State athletic director Gene Taylor said in a statement. "We take matters such as these very seriously and will re-evaluate his status as we learn more information.”
The charges stem from a Jan. 17 incident in Overland Park. The warrant was issued March 28, and the arrest was carried out by the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force. Wainright will be held in custody in the Johnson County jail.
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Neither Wainright nor his parents immediately responded to calls seeking comment Tuesday afternoon.
Wainright’s playing status was in doubt after Overland Park police said a passenger in his car fired a handgun into the back seat of another car on Jan. 17. There were no arrests following the incident, but police investigated.
Wainright was considered an “involved other” in the case, according to a copy of the incident report, which listed three crimes: aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, criminal damage to property (estimated at $1,500) and criminal discharge of a firearm. The crimes were reported to be the result of a road-rage incident at about 5 p.m. along Interstate 435 between State Line and Roe in Overland Park.
K-State coach Bruce Weber chose not to play Wainright in the Wildcats' game against TCU on Jan. 20 and later said his benching could be considered a suspension. At the time, a statement from the athletic department said it considered the matter closed.
"Obviously, we thought it was," Taylor said Tuesday before K-State's basketball banquet in Manhattan. "There were no charges when we first heard about it, so that's why we thought it was closed. Now he has been arrested, and department policy is that if you are arrested for a felony, you are indefinitely suspended. We found out he was arrested today, so we immediately suspended him."
Neither Taylor nor Weber has spoken with Wainright since news of his arrest became public.
Wainright, a Kansas City native, transferred to K-State last summer from Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas. He played in 36 games this season, averaging 2.8 points and 2.3 rebounds as a reserve.
The younger brother of Ishmail Wainright, a former Baylor standout, Amaad Wainright's commitment was viewed as a solid addition to K-State's roster.
Taylor said he didn't regret allowing Wainright to play during the second half of the season.
"We were told that he was cooperating, and there weren't any charges at the time," Taylor said. "We went with the information that we had. Now that we have more information, obviously that he has been charged with a felony, our decision is to suspend him indefinitely."
There is no telling when K-State will make a permanent decision on Wainright's status.
"We have got to let the legal process play out at this point in time," Taylor said. "We don't know any more than what he has been charged with. I'm sure there are going to be attorneys and people involved in that. That is why we suspend him, so he can spend his time dealing with the legal process and not worry about anything else."
It's too early for Weber to speak in absolutes.
"Obviously, you're disappointed," Weber said. "I'm sad. I'm sad for Amaad and his family, but obviously when you get involved with the law, it's a serious issue. ... We will be there to help him in any way, but at the same time, he has got to deal with his consequences."