Here’s video of Dallas Cowboys tight end Rico Gathers being put in cuffs and getting hauled off to jail for quietly enjoying an evening blunt with his friend in a park.
TMZ Sports has obtained the body-cam footage of Gathers’ August arrest in Frisco, Texas … and the clip shows the pretty unbelievable circumstances that led to Rico spending a night behind bars.
Gathers and his lady friend are in a public park, sitting on a bench having just enjoyed some weed … when cops on bicycles cruise up to interrogate them.
They tell the tight end they could smell the marijuana … and when Rico reveals he has one more fully unused blunt in his possession, the investigation escalates.
One cop pats the two down … and ultimately decides to slap the cuffs on Gathers — who says the weed is his — telling him, “There’s like no tolerance for that stuff here, okay?”
You can see the moment where it hits Gathers that he’s truly about to be punished for such a minor offense … ’cause he PLED with the cops to let him off with a warning.
“It’s literally too close to game time,” Gathers says … “I play for the Cowboys … I really don’t need this right now.”
“I know y’all don’t want to see a grown man cry, but like, literally, this is too much. The media — this is a lesson for me in general.”
The cops take him to jail anyway … and the TE was eventually charged with possession of marijuana — a Class B misdemeanor.
Gathers had to fight the charge in court throughout the Cowboys’ 2018 season … and eventually struck a deal with prosecutors last week, agreeing to keep his nose clean for 90 days in order to have the charge dropped.
He also had to pay fines and fees.
Gathers — who nearly lost his job because of the arrest — finished with 4 starts at TE last season.