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Country singer Zach Bryan arrested in Oklahoma

The country music star posted a video on social media explaining why he was arrested and briefly jailed Thursday.
Credit: Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP
Zach Bryan performs during day one at the Windy City Smokeout festival on Thursday, July 13, 2023.

WASHINGTON — Country singer Zach Bryan was arrested Thursday night in Oklahoma for obstructing a police investigation, according to multiple reports and a post from him on social media. 

According to CNN, citing a local affiliate, Bryan was arrested and booked in Vinita, Oklahoma for "obstruction of investigation." He made bail and was allowed to leave the Craig County Jail about 90 minutes after being booked. 

Vinita is about 45 minutes away from the singer's hometown, Oologah, Oklahoma.

Bryan said he was driving through Vinita when his security guard, who was driving behind him, was stopped by an officer.

The country singer said he also stopped and after 10 to 15 minutes, got out of his vehicle to smoke a cigarette when the officer told him to get back inside the vehicle or be taken to jail.

Bryan said he cursed the officer, who then handcuffed him and placed him in the patrol vehicle.

“I get too lippy with him,” Bryan said. “I’m just mouthing off like an idiot” and the officer was “just doing their job.”

Bryan said he spent “a few hours” at the Craig County jail before being released on bond and that he spoke to the officer and shook hands with him before leaving.

In Oklahoma, an obstruction of investigation charge is a misdemeanor, when somebody “willfully delays or obstructs any public officer in the discharge or attempt to discharge any duty of his or her office.”

In an earlier post on X, formerly Twitter, Bryan apologized for the incident on Thursday night. 

"Today I had an incident with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol," he wrote. "Emotions got the best of me and I was out of line in the things I said. I support law enforcement as much as anyone can, I was just frustrated in the moment, it was unlike me and I apologize. They brought me to jail, and there is a mug shot of me floating around. Prayers we can all move on from this and prayers people know I’m just trying the best I can, I love you guys and I am truly sorry to the officers." 

Bryan's music career began in 2017, when he was still in the Navy, with clips of him singing being uploaded to Youtube. One of his songs, "Heading South," went viral, and launched his rise to fame. Over the next several years, he began performing live and released a self-produced album. As Bryan became more popular, the Navy honorably discharged him in 2021 to pursue his singing career.

A year later, he released his major record-label debut, "American Heartbreak," which debuted at No. 5 on the U.S. Bullboard 200. "American Heartbreak" was the biggest first week debut for a country album in 2022. 

Later that year he released a live album, recorded at a show in Arkansas. And in 2023,  Bryan received the Academy of Country Music Award for New Male Artist of the Year.

Two weeks before his arrest, on Aug. 25, 2023, Bryan released his latest, self-titled album.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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