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September 23, 2011

Former Ravens player found dead

Former Ravens player Orlando Brown has been found dead in his downtown Baltimore home, officials and the team said. He was 40.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh announced Brown's death at the beginning of his news conference with reporters on Friday afternoon. City police and fire officials confirmed that they were at the player's home at the Harborview complex in South Baltimore. 

Fire Department spokesman Kevin Cartwright said medics were called after the player was found unresponsive in his home in the 1200 block of Harbor Island Walk. Medics called police to the scene at about 11 a.m. as a matter of protocol, and police say there were no signs of foul play or any initial indications as to the cause of death. The state medical examiner will perform an autopsy.

Official said "preliminary reports did not suggest a crime scene," though four hours later the street near the home was inaccessible and blocked off by crime scene tape. [Pictured above]

Brown played for the Ravens from 1996 to 1998, as well as a second stint from 2003 to 2005. He may be most well known for an incident when he played for the Cleveland Browns, when he was hit in the eye with a penalty flag, causing significant injuries and leading to an injury settlement with the NFL.

After retirement, Brown went into the restaurant business and opened a Fatburger franchise in Columbia, Md. In 2009, he was charged with breaking into his ex-wife's home in Baltimore County, charges which were later dropped. Court records show he was involved this year in an ongoing custody dispute with a Silver Spring woman. 

“There was no better friend, no one more loyal than Zeus was to his teammates and those in the Ravens. If he felt that you respected him, that you were willing to teach him or showed him care, you had a loyal friend for eternity. Loyalty is one of the first words I think when Zeus pops in my mind," said Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome.
“As a player, he came in very raw, but he had a lot of physical ability, that size, and he was naturally strong – and got stronger with his hard work. He had one of the greatest work ethics I’ve ever seen in a player. He was tireless in his passion to become a player. He loved being part of the team.”

“I just saw him a few days ago. He’s one of the greatest men I know – really a gentle giant away from the game. He was the original Raven. He set the tone for how we were going to play tough and physical, backing down from no opponent. When you heard his voice on the field, you knew things were going to be all right," said linebacker Ray Lewis. "He would say: ‘Keep playing. Keep fighting. Do it for us. Do it for your teammates. “Lew,” “Lew,” keep it up!’ I can almost hear that voice right now. And, oh, how he loved his sons. They lost a great father. So sad, just so sad.”

Posted by Justin Fenton at 1:20 PM | | Comments (13)
Categories: Downtown


RIP Zeus.

R.I.P. Zeus

Walking into the Steelers game a couple weeks ago, another fan stopped me to have him take of picture of himself with Zeus...RIP.

By the way, is it really necessary to mention his custody battle and brush with the law in this article? I don't think so.

To young to go; the ravens community will always remember you

Orlando.... u were so good, u blocked out the sun. RIP...

Very sad to hear. He not only owned the Fatburger restaurant, but regularly was behind the counter cooking. I also used to see him in South Baltimore quite a bit. Truly was a member of the community.
He will be missed.

Unbelievable. So young. How tragic. I just saw him getting carryout at the Southside Shopping Center about a week ago. Seeing that huge Bentley drive around Baltimore City with 'Zeus' tags was hard to miss. RIP big man.

What does the info on being charged with breaking into his ex-wife's home have to do with his death. A man loses his life and you end the story with info on his criminal act and custody dispute. People don't care or need to know this information. His death is the story. Not the deeds of the man.

Wow, sad. I would see him at the Fat Burger restaurant in Columbia that he owned. He was always very friendly. A good guy. RIP!

What does the info on being charged with breaking into his ex-wife's home have to do with his death. A man loses his life and you end the story with info on his criminal act and custody dispute. People don't care or need to know this information. His death is the story. Not the deeds of the man.

You will always be remembered as a Raven!!!! Have fun with the Angels!!!!

The few times I talked to him at the gym I thought he was genuinely a nice guy.
And a few people I knew who had contact with him commented on his great personality and that he was always a gentleman.

Don't be mad at the Sun for doing a news story, but be amazed in the overwhelming positive comments posted here.

A great man of statue, one to remember. R.I.P.ZEUS!!!!

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About Peter Hermann
Peter Hermann started covering news for The Baltimore Sun in 1990, first in Anne Arundel County and, starting in 1994, reporting on the Baltimore Police Department. In 2001, he was assigned to Jerusalem as the Baltimore Sun's Middle East correspondent. He returned in 2005 as an assistant city editor overseeing crime coverage. In 2008, Peter returned to the beat as a daily reporter and blogger. A recent BBC report featured him in a segment on the harsh realities of covering crime in Baltimore.

Coverage will focus on crime trends, problems in neighborhoods in the city and elsewhere, profiles of victims and police officers and try to offer readers a fresh perspective on one of the most vexing issues facing Baltimore and its future.

Contributing to this blog is Justin Fenton, who joined The Sun in 2005 and has covered the Baltimore City Police Department and the criminal justice system since 2008. His work includes an investigation into Cal Ripken Jr.’s minor league baseball stadium deal with his hometown of Aberdeen, a three-part series chronicling a ruthless con woman, coverage of the killing of five Amish children at a schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Pa., and a job swap with a British crime reporter to explore differences in crime-fighting. A special report looking into how city police handle rape cases led to sweeping reforms that changed the way sexual assaults are investigated in Baltimore. He was recognized as the best reporter in Baltimore by the City Paper in 2010 and by Baltimore Magazine in 2011.

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