By TOM WITHERS
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Browns are even taking hits off the field.
Star defensive end Myles Garrett said he was punched in the face Wednesday by a “fan” who wanted to take a picture with him. Garrett posted on his Twitter account that the person “hopped” out of his car before delivering a blow that had little effect on the muscular 6-foot-4, 270-pounder.
“Put your legs into it,” Garrett wrote, “might have actually made me flinch.”
A Browns spokesman said the team is aware of the incident “and appropriate law enforcement authorities have been notified.”
Garrett told Cleveland police he was in his car taking on his cellphone on East 9th Street before 3 p.m. when a man driving a 2007 Chevy Cobalt pulled up next to him and asked him if he could take his photograph. Garrett said he told the man to wait because he was on the phone.
The man then punched the player in the face “with a closed fist” through the rolled-down window on the driver’s side. He fled the scene, but police later identified him as Richard Perez of Strongsville, Ohio. He was listed as 5-foot-7, 160 pounds on the police report.
Garrett told police he was surprised by the incident but not injured. He refused medical attention from emergency services at the scene.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft, Garrett and his teammates practiced earlier in the day at the team’s headquarters before being excused during their bye week.
The Browns are just 2-4 after being picked as a potential Super Bowl contender following a busy offseason. They play the defending champion Super Bowl champion New England Patriots on Oct. 27.