Zach Bryan takes responsibility for his arrest in Oklahoma: ‘I was an idiot,’ country artist says

Zach Bryan strums an acoustic guitar and sings in a black sleeveless shirt with smoke in the background
Zach Bryan was arrested after his friend was pulled over along an Oklahoma highway.
(Amy Harris / Invision / Associated Press)

Zach Bryan was arrested Thursday evening in northeastern Oklahoma after getting into an argument with a highway patrol officer.

The “I Remember Everything” singer was jailed on suspicion of obstruction of an investigation in Craig County, Okla., around 6:45 p.m. local time, according to an arrest affidavit from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol obtained by The Times. Court records do not show that any charges have been filed against him.

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Bryan, 27, a breakout country music star who received his first CMA nomination on Thursday for new artist of the year, was on his way to Boston with his security guard, driving through Vinita, Okla. He noticed his guard, who was following behind in a separate car, was being pulled over by highway patrol, the singer said in a video posted on X (formerly Twitter).


After waiting about 10 to 15 minutes, Bryan said he circled the block, pulled up near his guard and started to get out of his truck to smoke a cigarette when the officer told him to get back in his truck. The affidavit, prepared by the officer, Ben Bertram, said that less than seven minutes had elapsed from when he pulled the guard over to when Bryan started to complain. He alleged that Bryan had been waving his hands around from his truck.

“I’m not the one getting arrested,” Bryan recalled saying, then added that he exchanged words with the officer, who insisted he get back into his truck or he would take him to jail. “I get too lippy with him, he brings me over to his truck, and just I didn’t help my situation at all,” he said in the video, calling his behavior “ridiculous,” “immature” and “disrespectful.”

Authorities alleged Bryan had told the officer, “I’ll go to jail, let’s do it.”

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“He gets me in these cuffs, man, and they’re tight and he puts me in his front seat,” Bryan said while adding that he continued “mouthing off” at the officer. The performer was later booked at a local jail and held for several hours. “I have to deal with the legalities of it when I go back home.”

He said repeatedly, “I was an idiot.” Bertram described Bryan’s behavior as “clearly aggravated and argumentative,” and alleged the performer had threatened to call “the mayor” and “the governor” after he was placed in cuffs. When Bertram asked the guard why Bryan “was so irate,” the guard explained that Bryan was a musician, “was under a lot of stress and pressure” and “needed to get away.”

In an earlier tweet, Bryan had apologized further. “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,” he said. “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.”

He also shared that several days earlier, he had been pulled over by another police officer for speeding through a “small town” in Oklahoma. That officer let him go with a warning, the singer said.


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In 2021, Bryan, who is from Oologah, Okla., was honorably discharged from the Navy to pursue his career in music full time. He found success the next year with his third studio album, “American Heartbreak,” which debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200. His follow-up album, “Zach Bryan,” debuted last week at No. 1. A single with Grammy winner Kacey Musgraves, “I Remember Everything,” currently sits atop the Billboard 100 chart.

Despite his CMA nomination this year, he had previously vowed that he “never want to be considered at the CMAs” after the association snubbed him last year.

“My pride is fine and I appreciate all the love and support,” he said in a tweet last November, “and I say it with every ounce of respect to other country artists. Establishments will always be weird.”