Zach Bryan was arrested Thursday evening in northeast Oklahoma after he got into an argument with a highway patrol officer.
The “I Remember Everything” singer was arrested around 6:45 p.m. local time on suspicion of obstructing an investigation in Craig County, Oklahoma, according to an Oklahoma Highway Patrol affidavit obtained by The Times. Court records do not indicate that charges have been filed against him.
Bryan, 27, a pioneering country music star who received His first CMA nomination for New Artist of the Year on Thursday was en route to Boston with his security guard and drove through Vinita, Oklahoma. He noticed that his security guard, who was following in a separate car, was stopped by the highway patrol, the singer said a video Posted on X (formerly Twitter).
After waiting about 10 to 15 minutes, Bryan said he walked around the block, stopped near his security guard and was about to get out of his truck to smoke a cigarette when the officer asked him to to get back in his truck. The affidavit prepared by Officer Ben Bertram states that less than seven minutes passed from the moment he stopped the security guard to the time Bryan began complaining. He claimed Bryan was waving his hands around from his truck.
“I’m not the one getting arrested,” Bryan recalled, then added that he exchanged a few words with the officer, who insisted he get back in his truck or he would take him to jail. “I’m too squeamish with him, he takes me to his truck, and I haven’t improved my situation at all,” he said in the video, calling his behavior “ridiculous,” “immature” and “disrespectful.”
Authorities alleged Bryan told the officer, “I’m going to jail, let’s do it.”
“He puts these handcuffs on me, man, and they’re tight, and he puts me in the front seat,” Bryan said, adding that he continued to “mouth” the officer. The performer was later detained at a local jail and held for several hours. “When I get home, I have to take care of the legal aspects.”
He repeatedly said, “I was an idiot.” Bertram described Bryan’s behavior as “clearly aggravated and belligerent” and claimed the performer threatened to call “the mayor” and “the governor” after he was handcuffed. When Bertram asked the security guard why Bryan was “so angry,” the security guard explained that Bryan was a musician, was “under a lot of stress and pressure,” and “needed to escape.”
In an earlier tweet, Bryan had continued to apologize. “The emotions overwhelmed me and I was wrong in the things I said. I support law enforcement as much as I can, I was just frustrated in the moment, it was different from me and I apologize,” he said. “They took me to prison and there’s a mugshot of me floating around. We pray that we can all get past this and pray that people know that I’m just doing my best, I love you and I’m really sorry for the officers.”
He also shared that he had been pulled over by another police officer a few days earlier for driving at a high rate of speed through a “small town” in Oklahoma. That officer released him with a warning, the singer said.
In 2021, Bryan, a native of Oologah, Oklahoma, was honorably discharged from the Navy to pursue his music career full-time. The next year, he found success with his third studio album, American Heartbreak, which debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200. His follow-up album, “Zach Bryan,” debuted at No. 1 last week. A single with “I Remember Everything” by Grammy winner Kacey Musgraves is currently at the top of the Billboard 100 chart.
Despite his CMA nomination this year, he had previously vowed that he would “never want to be considered for the CMAs” after the association snubbed him last year.
“My pride is fine and I appreciate all the love and support,” he said a tweet last November, “and I say it with all due respect to other country artists. Facilities will always be strange.”