War Eagle Extra

Auburn defensive back Stephen Roberts arrested for fleeing police, gun charges

Auburn defensive back Stephen Roberts breaks up a pass last year in the Iron Bowl at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Auburn defensive back Stephen Roberts breaks up a pass last year in the Iron Bowl at Jordan-Hare Stadium. mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Auburn safety Stephen Roberts was arrested Wednesday night on charges of attempt to elude police and possession of an unlicensed firearm.

Roberts was pulled over for a traffic stop on Harmon Drive in Auburn at 10:30 p.m. Both charges are considered Class A misdemeanors carrying a maximum penalty of a year in jail and $6,000 fine.

The 20-year old junior out of Opelika High School had no previous arrest record. He has a court date schedule for Nov. 17 at 8 a.m.

A university spokesman said coach Gus Malzahn is aware of the situation and is “gather all of the facts.”

Coaches were also counting on Roberts to help provide depth at corner with Jamel Dean on the shelf indefinitely with a knee injury.

“Stephen Roberts is making progress and making plays,” Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele said earlier this month.

The defensive coaching staff was impressed with how dedicated Roberts was throughout the team’s offseason program. The local safety continued to put in extra work when training camp started.

“Stephen has really had a good summer and spent a lot of time, really, even last night — most of the time when you let guys out of meetings in fall camp they're gone — but he was sitting up there watching tape,” Steele said. “He's taking it very seriously. He's progressing nice.”

New defensive backs coach Wes McGriff pointed to Roberts as key member of the secondary because of the defender’s versatility.

“Stephen Roberts he has the skill set to play any position on the back end,” McGriff said. “We like his progression, he’s doing a good job.”

Roberts played in all 14 of Auburn’s games last year, starting the team’s final three regular season contents. He ended up with 26 tackles, 16 solo, and three pass deflections.

The defensive back is the fifth Auburn player arrested this offseason. Byron Cowart, Ryan Davis, Carlton Davis and Jeremiah Dinson were arrested on charges of possession of marijuana. The group was expected in court in July, but had their date pushed back to Sept. 1.

Coach Malzahn announced at SEC Media Days in July the players were handed an unspecified penalty that didn’t include missing any playing time.