Auburn, Ala. – Auburn football quarterback TJ Finley was arrested Thursday for eluding police on a moped when officers tried to stop him for a traffic violation.
On July 26, a week before the arrest, police tried to stop Finley for not wearing a helmet. The Auburn quarterback fled from police and “committed several other traffic offenses in the process,” according to a police statement. “Authorities terminated the search in both cases for safety reasons.”
Finley was on a motorcycle, according to a news release from the Auburn Police Department. But in a statement released to the Montgomery Advertiser Thursday from Finley’s attorney, the vehicle Finley was driving was described as a scooter, not a motorcycle.
Finley was eventually located and police obtained an arrest warrant. Finley turned himself in Thursday after hearing about the warrant. He was booked into the Lee County Detention Center, but by mid-afternoon, he was back at the Auburn football team’s facility, where players reported for the start of preseason practices.
Lee County Attorney Davis Whittelsey, who represents Finley, described the pending charges as a “misunderstanding.”
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“The charges are being handled in municipal court in the city of Auburn as all traffic citations are,” Whittelsey said in his statement. “As soon as TJ learned of the charges, he turned himself in and was released on the bond he signed for himself. His first day of football camp with Auburn University was a success.”
Finley stayed at Auburn for one year after transferring from LSU before the 2021 season. He entered preseason practice entrenched in a quarterback competition for the starting job with transfers Zack Calzada and Robbie Ashford.
“He’s here. He’ll be here tonight. He’ll practice tomorrow,” Auburn coach Bryan Harsin said Thursday when asked if the charges would affect Finley’s status with the team, “so we know what’s going on.”
After Finley transferred to Auburn, he backed up former quarterback Bo Nix and started the final three games after Nix suffered a season-ending ankle injury.
Auburn lost all three of those games, but Finley saved Auburn from losing to Georgia State in September when he replaced the struggling Knicks and threw down the game-winning touchdown with 45 seconds left.
With Auburn trailing 24-20 it was a fourth-and-goal situation and a touchdown was needed. Finley was chased 10 yards from the line of scrimmage, where he ducked out of the sack, eluded defenders and threw to Shedrick Jackson in the end zone.