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Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Updated: October 24, 2:38 PM ET
Colt Lyerla arrested in Oregon

ESPN.com news services

Colt Lyerla, the former Oregon tight end who left the team earlier this month for what he called personal reasons, was arrested Wednesday night on a charge of unlawful possession of cocaine, the Lane County (Ore.) Jail confirmed.

Lyerla also was charged with interfering with a police officer.

According to the Lane County sheriff's report, a copy of which was obtained by The Oregonian newspaper, "detectives working an unrelated drug investigation ... observed Lyerla in a parked vehicle snorting what appeared to be a white powdery substance. Lyerla was contacted by police and admitted to using and possessing cocaine."

The sheriff's report said detectives and Lyerla agreed to meet at his home to continue the investigation and that "once at the residence Lyerla ran from the vehicle into a nearby apartment."

Lyerla came out from the residence a short time later and was arrested, according to the report.

Lyerla left the Ducks on Oct. 6 for what he called personal reasons.

He did not travel with the Ducks to their game at Colorado the previous weekend, and coach Mark Helfrich said the junior was suspended for a game for violating team rules.

The nature of the violation wasn't disclosed, but earlier this season a disagreement between Lyerla and Helfrich went public after the tight end missed the Ducks' game against Tennessee with an illness.

Oregon does not disclose injuries, so after the game Helfrich described the tight end's absence as "circumstances." Lyerla then complained to The Oregonian the he felt the description could be unfairly interpreted.

He later apologized for airing his frustration publicly and said he never meant to be a distraction. Both he and Helfrich said they'd discussed the matter and moved on, but Lyerla did not catch a pass in Oregon's next game against Cal, and then was suspended against Colorado.

Lyerla told Oregon's athletics website that his withdrawal from the Ducks had nothing to do with that suspension.

"I love everyone at Oregon; everyone's on good terms, I believe," Lyerla said. "Just for my own benefit, it was time to move on."

Lyerla also told GoDucks.com that he would pursue an NFL career.

He caught three passes for 26 yards this season. For his career, he caught 34 passes for 565 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Lyerla also landed in the doghouse this summer for going to Twitter with his support of conspiracy theories surrounding the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut. One of his posts concerned the parents of the young victims.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.