Mack Herron denied he had the drug

By Off the BASN Wire
Updated: May 9, 2011

Mack Herron

Mack Herron

CHICAGO, ILL–A former NFL running back arrested for heroin possession in Chicago denied he had the drug and says the arresting officer had an “attitude.”

Mack Herron, who played for the New England Patriots in 1973 and 1974, was arrested last week on the city’s West side after police said they saw him drop a tin-foil packet containing $10 worth of heroin outside an abandoned building, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Wednesday.

In an interview, Herron acknowledged past drug problems but said he’s largely clean now.

“I’ve had past problems, but I’m over that,” Herron told the Sun-Times. “I ain’t gonna lie to you, I did heroin when I was depressed.

… But I haven’t been arrested since 2007. I made mistakes. I’m not perfect — but I’m trying to do better.”

Herron said he was arrested as went to visit the mother of a friend who had a stroke.

“She wasn’t home,” Herron said. “I was in the vacant lot next door because I went to take a leak, and I was coming out of the lot to go home and that’s when the police stopped me.”

“‘I ain’t even got time for this. I’ve been places you’ve never been,’” Herron said he told the officers, referring to his NFL career.

“But he didn’t believe that, so I said, ‘Go Google it,’ and they did — and then he believed me and wanted an autograph. But I said, ‘No,’ and then he got attitude with me.”

A Chicago police spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment, the Sun-Times said.

Herron was in a Chicago jail Sunday after the latest in a series of drug-related arrests dating back to 1969, police said.

Herron, who broke Gale Sayers’ NFL all-purpose yardage record, wound up in custody over the weekend after he allegedly was caught with a $10 rock of heroin outside an abandoned building on the Windy City’s West Side.

“He’s always had problems,” a police officer familiar with Herron’s past told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Family members told the newspaper they were surprised at Herron’s arrest – his 20th pinch since 1969 – and bemoaned his inability to win a pension from the National Football League. They said Herron, 62, is largely on the public dole while doing occasional landscaping work and working on a memoir about his up-and-down life.

“He’s got diabetes and a problem with his ankles and legs at times,” said his mother. “Sometimes he can hardly walk, and he’s in constant pain.”

Herron, a product of Chicago’s Farragut High School, attended Kansas State and played for the New England Patriots and Canada’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers. His playing career ended in 1978 when he was sentenced to five years in prison for dealing cocaine.