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Former Orlando City B Forward Ben Polk Arrested Following Altercation with Cab Driver

Club says Polk was already an ex-OCB player at time of arrest.

Carlos Romero, The Mane Land

Former OCB forward Benjamin Polk was arrested early Saturday morning for aggravated battery causing bodily harm. According to deputies, Polk punched a cab driver repeatedly in the face, knocking out a tooth.

Polk, 25, and another passenger took the cab from Pine Street in downtown Orlando to Lake Mary. Polk was upset that the fare was $57, and the cab driver informed the pair he had already run his credit card.

Deputies were called to the 1100 block of Island Shore Lane just after 3 a.m. Saturday. They found the cab driver standing next to his taxi with blood on his face and shirt, authorities said.

The driver told deputies he picked Polk and another man up from downtown Orlando. When they arrived in Lake Mary, the two became angry at the price of the fare. The driver said Polk pummeled him in the face and jaw.

Polk was taken to the John E. Polk (ironically) Correctional Facility, and has since been released on a $15,000 bond.

The 20th pick by the Portland Timbers in the 2016 draft, Polk was acquired by Orlando City B last December. However, as reported by Michael Williams and Alicia DelGallo of the Orlando Sentinel, a spokesperson for Orlando City SC said that Polk was no longer with the club following the expiration of his contract at the end of Thursday’s season-ending match, although he was still listed on the OCB roster page of the club’s website as of 2 p.m. today. An official statement via club spokesperson Jackie Maynard was issued:

“Orlando City SC is aware of and will continue to monitor the situation. However, because the incident occurred after Polk’s contract expired on Thursday night following the conclusion of OCB’s season, the Club will not issue any further comment,” Jackie Maynard, communications manager for the club said in a statement.

The former Portland SuperDraft pick made only eight appearances (three starts) with OCB in 2017, playing just 290 total minutes. He didn’t register a goal or an assist and attempted only one shot, which wasn’t on target. His last appearance for OCB came in the season finale against the Tampa Bay Rowdies last Thursday night, in which he subbed on in the 78th minute of the eventual 2-0 home loss and managed to get only two touches of the ball. That loss eliminated OCB from playoff contention.

Although Polk is already off the team, this is the third Orlando City-related player arrest of 2017 in what has been a season filled with embarrassing off-the-field incidents. Cyle Larin (DUI) and Will Johnson (domestic violence charges) were arrested earlier this season. Both MLS players have since returned to the team following the completion of the league’s Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health (SABH) program. Though no one was arrested, several Orlando players from the NWSL and MLS sides were trespassed from Disney’s Epcot just two weeks ago.

We will update this story or create a new one as future details warrant.