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Fresno State football player arrested

Fresno State football player Nico Herron was arrested Monday on suspicion of exhibiting a deadly weapon that was not a firearm — a misdemeanor.

According to police, Herron — who is expected to start at outside linebacker this season — and Fresno State student Johnny Simmons were pointing an air rifle and yelling from an apartment balcony at pedestrians passing below.

The police report said one witness thought she heard and saw Herron fire the rifle at a passing vehicle and also at a female pedestrian who held her lower back or buttocks and said "ouch" as if she'd been hit.

Herron and Simmons told police, according to the police report, that they were doing it in fun and did not intend to shoot anyone.

Fresno Police spokesman Jeff Cardinale said police receive calls about people exhibiting weapons that turn out to be fake about once a week, but he said police take the calls seriously.

"When we respond to a call of someone brandishing a firearm we have no idea until after we take possession of the firearm of whether it is real or fake," Cardinale said. "It's a pretty serious thing because our officers have to assume it's a real rifle."