Suspended YSU running back pleads not guilty to weapons charges


AKRON — Youngstown State University running back Martin Ruiz pleaded not guilty Wednesday to weapons charges stemming from a Dec. 6 traffic stop in Tallmadge.

Ruiz faces charges of carrying a concealed weapon and improper handling.

According to a police report, he was pulled over for failing to signal a turn. Police said the car smelled of marijuana and crustier parts of the plant were found in the driver’s seat. A loaded handgun was found in the glove compartment. Ruiz told police the gun wasn’t his.

Ruiz was one of five players suspended for failing an NCAA drug test. The other players were Darien Townsend, LeRoy Alexander, Jameel Smith and Robert Byrd. They will not appear in YSU’s Jan. 7 contest against James Madison for the FCS National Championship.

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