Kellen Winslow, then of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in 2011
Photo: Mike Ehrmann (Getty Images)

An ex-NFL player who was looking to help his mother-in-law find a new home was not only stopped but also arrested by police in Southern California.

Kellen Winslow Jr., 34, who was chosen in the first round of the NFL draft in 2004 and played for several pro teams, was arrested Thursday afternoon in the city of Encinitas, Calif., and booked on suspicion of burglary.

Winslow was reportedly house hunting for his wife’s mother and was stopped, then booked, by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department after a woman called the fuzz.

NBC reports:

A person called the sheriff’s office at around 2:39 p.m. local time and reported a possible residential burglary and “the reporting party indicated a black male adult had walked into a neighbor’s residence,” and that person confronted the man because they “did not recognize him as being the resident who lived there,” according to the sheriff’s department.

Winslow left after being confronted, the sheriff’s department said, but was stopped by deputies as he drove nearby and he was arrested.

Representatives for Winslow vigorously dispute the allegations. Winslow was home shopping for his mother-in-law, he never went inside, and the residence in question belongs to friends who attend church with his wife, spokeswoman Denise White of EAG Sports Management said via email.

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“An over reactive neighbor called police after she saw Kellen walking around a mobile home,” his spokeswoman, Denise White, wrote in an email to NBC News.

It gets better.

When confronted by the nosy neighbors, Winslow said he was looking for his red dog, Clifford.

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White said that the Winslow does indeed have a red dog named Clifford, but that he was being “sarcastic” when answering this woman’s questions about why he was there.

Winslow’s attorney, Harvey A. Steinberg, said in a statement that the former pro “emphatically denies committing any burglary. He would have no need to burglarize or steal anything from anyone at a trailer park.”

Winslow spent five hours in a North County jail before posting bail, NBC San Diego reported.

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Winslow is the son of Pro Football Hall of Fame member Kellen Winslow, who played for the San Diego Chargers. He grew up in San Diego and attended the University of Miami, after which he was selected sixth by the Cleveland Browns in the first round of the 2004 NFL draft.