CHARLOTTE: Hairston says he loaned Gordon his SUV after meeting - WNCN: News, Weather

Hairston says he met NFL star shortly before DWI arrest

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Joshua Gordon Joshua Gordon
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -

Former UNC guard P.J. Hairston said a chance encounter with Josh Gordon at a Chapel Hill grocery store led to the NFL star borrowing Hairston's 2015 Cadillac Escalade, which Gordon was driving the night he was arrested in Raleigh.

Gordon, a wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns, was arrested Saturday on charges of driving while impaired near the intersection of Glenwood Avenue and Pasquotank Drive. Police said he was additionally cited for traveling 50 miles per hour in a 35 mile per hour zone.

According to the citation, Gordon's blood alcohol level was .09 at the time of the arrest. Gordon admitted to drinking three mixed drinks and vodka, court documents showed.

The vehicle Gordon was driving at the time of his arrest was registered to Hairston, who said Thursday that he'd only recently met Gordon at a grocery store in Chapel Hill.

"Me and Josh Gordon met at the Fresh Market on 54 in Chapel Hill. I was in the Aloft right next door to the Fresh Market, and I walked into the Fresh Market to get fruit," Hairston said. He said while at the store that he ran into Gordon and immediately recognized him because Hairston identified himself as a "football fan."

"Right away we started talking about football and basketball," Hairston recalled. "We walked outside and he saw my car and he said, 'Well what are you doing?' And I said, 'Tomorrow? Nothing. I'll probably be in the hotel.'"

Hairston said Gordon hadn't seen one of the new Escalades and asked the Charlotte Hornets rookie if he would mind switching cars for the night.

"I liked his car -- he had a Mercedes -- so I said, 'OK, let's switch,'" Hairston said. "I was just being generous. I have a thing for saying 'yes' and I felt like that wasn't a big deal."

Hairston said what happened early Saturday morning after they switched vehicles "is history."

"I was sitting in the hotel when I found out everything happened," he said.

Hairston said he didn't think the situation would turn negative until he realized Gordon's connection with Haydn Patrick "Fats" Thomas, who posted Gordon bail.

"Once I realized that he had connections with people that got me in trouble in the past, then I thought, 'OK, this is probably going to be a problem,'" Hairston said.

In June 2013, Hairston and two others were arrested in Durham on a misdemeanor marijuana possession charges while driving a 2013 GMC Yukon that was rented by Thomas. The charge against Hairston was later dismissed.

Hairston was also pulled in May 2013 for speeding in a 2012 Chevrolet Camaro that was rented under a woman's name sharing Thomas' home address.

Thomas is a convicted Felon who in November pleaded guilty to charges of possession of a firearm by a felon, drug possession with intent to distribute and possession of drug paraphernalia from a December 2012 arrest.

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