LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Former Cincinnati Bengals running back Stanley Wilson, banned for life from the National Football League for repeated drug offenses in 1989, is being held in Long Beach Jail on suspicion of burglary after being arrested Thursday in an abandoned house.
"He's in bad shape," Long Beach police Sgt. Robert Gillissie said of Wilson. "He's run-down to the max. He was at the bottom of the pit, in a place filled with trash and [hypodermic] needles. It's almost like he was asking someone to grab him by the neck and shake him out of it. Almost like he's asking for help."
Informants had told Long Beach police that "Stanley Wilson was in Long Beach doing some street robberies," Gillissie said, and detectives found him in what Gillissie described as a house "where drug users crawl in to sleep."
Arresting detectives Dave Foltz and Kevin Nelson said Wilson offered no resistance and consented to be searched.
"He admitted to a burglary in the area on Wednesday evening," Nelson said.
Wilson told Nelson he was sniffing powder then, but "now he's smoking crack. Crack cocaine doesn't care who you are or where you've been. It doesn't discriminate. It treats everybody equal. He's just a sick guy, chasing a high."
According to Gillissie, Wilson was cooperative and contrite.
"I just need help," Wilson told the arresting officers. "Everybody has been good to me. The NFL was good to me, but I just wasn't ready to stop."
Wilson was forced to sit out the entire 1985 and '87 seasons for drug offenses and was kicked off the Bengals on the eve of Super Bowl XXIII in 1989 after being caught in his hotel room using cocaine. Wilson was banned for life by NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle on May 15, 1989.