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Smith's wife defending husband after he was arrested for dragging her down street

By ANDREW DONOVAN

NEW ORLEANS (WKTV/AP) - New Orleans Saints' Will Smith, a Utica-native and Proctor graduate, was arrested after he was accused of grabbing his wife's hair and pulling her down the street. His wife, Racquel, is standing by her husband.

Police in Lafayette, which is about 50 miles west of Baton Rouge, say Smith and his wife had gotten into an argument just after 2:00 a.m. Saturday while leaving a nightclub. Police Cpl. Paul Mouton said in a press release that officers on patrol saw the argument escalate, and then saw Smith grab the woman's hair.

Mouton says Mrs. Smith's injuries were not serious. Smith has been charged with domestic abuse and simple battery. Smith was released on $1,000 bond Saturday, according to the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Department.

In an unofficial statement on Twitter from Smith's wife, Racquel, she says the entire incident is a misunderstanding. She said, "Ugh! Such a huge misunderstanding! My husband and I are fine... Please allow the legal system to take its course. I feel bad for my husband who is innocent in all of this and all my family. Pray for my family and don't pass judgement. We are are strong couple. Love conquers all and that's what we have. It's just so sad that he is in the public eye and everything is magnified. I love you... Please Who Dat fans support our family through this time."

Smith is a 1999 graduate of Proctor High School. Smith then went on to play college football at Ohio State University, and won a national championship in 2003. He was the Saints' first-round draft pick in 2004 and was a Pro Bowl selection in 2006.

The Saints are the defending Super Bowl champions. Smith does not have to worry about any upcoming games this week as New Orleans played on Thanksgiving.

Smith was last publicly in the area last June, when he hosts his annual "Where There's A Will, There's A Way" football camp at D'Alessando Stadium. The program teaches area children both about football skills and technique along with life skills and the concept of hard work.

NEWSChannel 2's calls to Smith have not been returned. Greg Bensil, the director of media relations for the Saints, also has not reacted to the incident.

Smith is a first-time offender of the Personal Conduct Policy, separate from his previous involvement in the Starcaps incident, according to MSNBC. In 2008, Smith was one of five NFL players to test positive for bumetanide, a diuretic that also can be used to mask anabolic steroid use.

Smith and the other players -- Minnesota's Kevin and Pat Williams plus then-Saints Deuce McAllister and Charles Grant – said they took the Starcaps supplement only to lose weight and unknowingly ingested bumetanide because it was not listed among the ingredients.

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