Youngstown State football player faces firearm charges

The running back and starter was involved in only one play in last Saturday’s game

Martin Ruiz, Tallmadge Police Department


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown State University football player Martin Ruiz is facing firearm charges in Summit County, according to court records.

Ruiz was arrested last Tuesday in Tallmadge, Ohio during a traffic stop.

Watch: Police dash cam footage of Ruiz’s arrest

According to a police report,  Ruiz was driving the vehicle and didn’t use a turn signal. Police said the car smelled like marijuana, and “marijuana shake” was found on the driver’s seat. Police said a loaded handgun was also found inside the car’s glove compartment.

Ruiz said he knew the weapon was in the car but said it belonged to his passenger, Austin Eads.

Eads was released from prison this past summer on a burglary conviction. Both were headed to Eads’ halfway house when they were pulled over.

Police spent 12 minutes searching the car.

Ruiz later told police his house had been robbed while he was at Jacksonville State and the person he suspected in the robbery had used Ruiz’s car. He said that person knew about the gun.

Ruiz was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and improper handling.

The starting running back spent the night in jail but was released in time to dress for last Saturday’s playoff game against Wofford. He didn’t play the entire first half and only got in for one play in the second half due to a “coach’s decision.”

After the game, the only thing YSU Coach Bo Pellini said about Ruiz was, “Yeah, he just, you know, that was our decision. Yeah, he’s OK.”

Pellini isn’t commenting about player discipline ahead of the semifinal game with Eastern Washington on Saturday. He was questioned about reports that four to five players, including three starters, were suspended after drug testing.

Earlier this year, two YSU football players were charged with firearm violations related shots fired on campus.

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