Authorities said Ward and a female friend were detained at gunpoint at a Chevron gas station about 1:30 a.m. The "Dancing With The Stars" contestant was a passenger in a 2010 white Honda Civic that police say was reported stolen last month.
Officers, with backup and a helicopter overhead, pulled their guns out on Ward and the woman when they pulled into the gas station. Police threw them to the ground and cuffed them.
"Shortly thereafter, someone recognized the passenger as Hines Ward from the Pittsburgh Steelers," said Sgt. Jim Parker of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Apparently, the woman reported the car stolen on April 19 after she forgot where she parked it. When she found it, she never canceled the report.
Police were tracking the car for 45 minutes before pulling it over. The incident lasted 10 minutes, and then they were freed to go.
On his Facebook page, Ward said to fans, "The incident in the news that involved me getting pulled over. I want everyone to know that this was a complete misunderstanding. The police were just doing their job. Apologies were made and it's now in the past. Moving forward...Hines."
Both Ward and the woman were released immediately at the scene once the confusion was cleared up.
"The police were just doing their job. Apologies were made, and Hines was very cooperative and understanding. He is fine, and it's over," Ward's spokesman Andrew Ree said in a statement.