Late last night, reports circulated about country star Zach Bryan's arrest. At the time, it wasn’t clear what he was arrested for. Bryan tweeted about the incident a few hours later, saying, “Today I had an incident with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. Emotions got the best of me and I was out of line in the things I said. I support law enforcement as much as anyone can, I was just frustrated in the moment, it was unlike me and I apologize. They brought me to jail, and there is a mug shot of me floating around. Prayers we can all move on from this and prayers people know I’m just trying the best I can, I love you guys and I am truly sorry to the officers.”
Today I had an incident with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. Emotions got the best of me and I was out of line in the things I said.— Zach Bryan (@zachlanebryan) September 8, 2023
I support law enforcement as much as anyone can, I was just frustrated in the moment, it was unlike me and I apologize. They brought me to jail, and…
A few hours later, he posted a video where he explained to fans in greater detail his account of what happened. You can see that video here; parts of the video are NSFW.
Sitting in his car with his dog Jack, he started by noting that he was driving to New York. “I just wanted to be completely transparent with everyone about what happened yesterday with me getting arrested and everything. I don’t want the internet to do what the internet does and make stuff up. I did go to jail. They didn’t play favorites. I was an idiot today and my decisions did not reflect who I was as a person and I just want to make that clear. I should have been smarter about it.”
He prefaced the story of last night’s arrest with another story of a different run-in with a police officer a few days earlier. “I just want to tell you guys the whole timeline. Around three days ago I was driving through this small town in Oklahoma, and this is the beginning of all of it. I drive by this cop, and I was going four or five [miles per hour] over [the speed limit]. He pulls me over, he comes by my window, first thing he asks for is license, registration, and my address.”
Bryan, who currently has the number one album in the country (Zach Bryan), and the number one single (“I Remember Everything,” featuring Kacey Musgraves), noted that he told the officer that he was not comfortable giving his address. It wasn’t clear if the officer was familiar with Bryan or his music.
The singer continued, “So he says, ‘If you don’t give me your address, I’m going to have to take you to jail.’ I said, ‘Man, I’m not going to give you my address.’ So he tells me to step out of the vehicle. He puts handcuffs on me. I’m like, ‘What the hell is going on? Why are you doing this?’ He said, ‘Why are you not giving me your address?’ We talked about it, I explained to him why, I ended up giving him my address… he finally took my handcuffs off, he gave me a warning because I wasn’t going too fast or anything. He let me go, because I started respecting him and being cordial. But it frustrated me a lot because I didn’t know if I had a right to refuse giving him my address or not.”
He noted that when he woke up yesterday, he told his security guard that he planned to drive to Boston for this weekend’s Eagles/Patriots game. “So, we’re driving to Boston, we get like 40 minutes away from my house, he’s behind me, and I see him getting pulled over. I go around the block, and I pull back up next to him, and I’m just sitting there, I didn’t get out of the vehicle or anything. Ten to fifteen minutes go by, and I get out of the car and say, ‘What is taking so long?’ I was gonna smoke a cigarette. The cop comes up to me: ‘Sir, get back in your vehicle.” I’m like, ‘I’m not the one getting pulled over.’ He says, ‘Get back in your vehicle, or I’m going to have to take you to jail.’ Like a dumba–, I said, ‘Take me to f—in’ jail? What do you mean?’ And he was like, ‘Take you to jail.’ So I get too lippy with him, he brings me over to his car… I just didn’t help my situation at all. I felt like a child, it was ridiculous, it was immature, I just pray everyone knows, I don’t think I’m above the law. I was being disrespectful, and I shouldn’t have been, and it was my mistake.”
Things escalated from there. Bryan said, “So he gets me in these cuffs, and they’re tight and puts me in his front seat… and I’m going, ‘These cuffs hurt.’ He’s like, ‘They’re not supposed to be comfortable.’ He was being a cop. So I’m just getting more angry and angry, which is the worst thing you could possibly do. So, fifteen minutes go by, they finally let me out of the vehicle, and I’m just mouthing off like an idiot. Like an actual child. ‘Why are you using your authority like this?’ When, in reality, they were just doing their jobs. I was upset. So he says, ‘I’m going to tell you this, and don’t interrupt me.’ He started talking, I interrupted him, naturally, because I was just angry. So he said, ‘I’m going to take you to jail,’ and he took me to jail. I was in jail for a few hours.”
“When I got there, it lightened up because I just cooled off a bit; I was talking to the people booking me, everyone was super kind. I was in my jail cell for a while. The cop and me eventually shook hands. I ended up apologizing online because I realized my actions didn’t reflect who I was as a person. The night ended OK, I have to deal with the legalities of it. I want to tell the story and get it out there before someone blew it out of proportion. I was just an idiot. And I’ll take the fall for it. I’m a grown man and I shouldn’t have behaved like that. It won’t happen again. I love you guys. Thanks for defending me online; I don’t really need it. I just shouldn’t have did what I did. The world moves on. Tomorrow’s gonna come anyway.”
Bryan has some time to deal with the legalities of yesterday’s incident; his next show is at the Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival on September 24 in Franklin, Tennessee.