VERO BEACH — One month after filling his hometown Citrus Bowl stadium for a charity concert where he successfully proposed marriage to his girlfriend onstage, country star Jake Owen was handcuffed briefly Saturday night by a sheriff's deputy outside a local restaurant.
A sheriff's deputy on patrol in the 1900 block of 94th Court saw a man dancing outside the window of the Steak 'n Shake, said Sheriff's Office spokesman Deputy Jeff Luther .
"He had a mask on, some type (of mask) that looked like an older man," Luther said.
The deputy handcuffed and detained Owen.
"At the time, the deputy didn't know what he had," Luther said.
People from inside the restaurant then came outside, told the deputy they had simply been joking around, and showed Owen's driver' license.
"He was not arrested," Luther added.
Sunday morning, Owen posted an apology on the home page of his website.
"Y'all, I apologize," it read. "The IRC Sheriff was doing their (sic) job."
This may have been in reference to Twitter posts that the music website Taste of Country reported Owen made shortly after the incident. It reported that Owen tweeted, "You give a guy a gun and a badge and he thinks he's John Wayne. Thanks, Indian River County Sheriffs Office. Unreal." The site also quoted Owen as tweeting, "My mom cried. My dad was embarrassed."
Later in the day, Owen posted more on his Twitter site.
"Not some puppet that is reciting what he 'should' say," he wrote. "I take full responsibility. Again, what's done is done, but I am truly sorry. The sheriffs were doing their jobs and I made an immature decision to announce it to the world. This is me talking.
"I embarrassed myself and my family and most importantly the great people of my hometown," Owen wrote. "I want to publicly apologize again for bringing to light a situation that I overreacted to."
Owen played the Space Coast Music Fest Saturday in Melbourne.
On April 7, he played the Citrus Bowl after a concert scheduled for December's sixth annual Mardy's Tennis and Jake's Music Fest was rained out. The event raised money for the Mardy Fish Foundation and the Jake Owen Foundation that support after-school programs and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Owen used the occasion of that April concert to propose marriage to girlfriend Lacey Buchanan. The couple took out a marriage license last week in Indian River County.
Owen's country hits have included "Alone with you" and "Eight Second Ride."