Smith was detained at Los Angeles International Airport, according to numerous reports including the Sacramento Bee, after being uncooperative with authorities and indicating he had a bomb. The 49ers said they were aware of the incident with Smith. TMZ published a video of police taking Smith away from the gate.
Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group reported the LAPD booked Smith on a violation of California Penal Code 148.1(a), which is a false report of a bomb threat. Inman reported that Smith was released on $20,000 bail.
"We are disappointed to learn of the incident today involving Aldon Smith," 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said in the statement, via the Bee. "As this is a pending legal matter and we are still gathering the pertinent facts, we will have no further comment."
According to the Sacramento Bee, witnesses say the problems started with an argument with an agent at the ticket counter. The Bee had a statement from the airport police about the incident. It read, in part, that after being selected for secondary security screening, "The suspect then became belligerent and uncooperative with the process and with the TSA agent, making a comment indicating that he was in possession of a bomb before proceeding towards the gate area."
Police caught up with Smith at the gate, he was uncooperative again, and then taken into custody by five officers, the Bee said.
Smith was a first-team All-Pro after a 19.5-sack season in 2012, but it has been a rough ride since then. Last season Smith missed six weeks after going to rehab following his second DUI arrest. Smith also faces three felony counts of illegal possession of an assault weapon following a 2012 house party.
(UPDATE: According to the Sacramento Bee, airport police Sgt. Karla Ortiz said it appeared that Smith had been drinking earlier in the day. Police said they didn't test if Smith had been drinking because it didn't factor in his arrest, but it's a disturbing detail given Smith's past issues.)
Smith puts the 49ers in a difficult spot. Smith was on the reserve/non-football injury list after his DUI arrest last September, but that was after making the baffling decision to allow him to play two days after that arrest. So the 49ers have shown Smith's ability is enough to force them into some bad decisions. It'll be hard for them to excuse Smith doing something as ill-advised as indicating he has a bomb in an airport.
Smith is a fantastic player, but his decisions away from football are quickly making him a big problem for the 49ers.