Lawyer: Michael Bennett will surrender on felony charge upon return to continental U.S.

ByTim McManus ESPN logo
Monday, March 26, 2018

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Michael Bennett after a grand jury indicted him on a felony charge of injury to the elderly related to an incident at NRG Stadium following Super Bowl LI, according to the office of the district attorney of Harris County, Texas.

Rusty Hardin, one of Bennett's attorneys, told USA Today Sports that Bennett would turn himself in on Monday.

A release from the district attorney's office states that Bennett was a spectator and in town to watch his brother, Martellus, then a player for the New England Patriots, on Feb. 5, 2017. After the game, Bennett allegedly shoved his way onto the field, where players were gathering to celebrate, according to the DA's office. NRG security personnel, including a 66-year-old paraplegic woman, told Bennett he had to use a different entrance for field access, but the defensive end pushed through them, including the woman.

Speaking at a news conference Friday, Houston Police chief Art Acevedo said Bennett allegedly told the people he had pushed, "You all must know who I am, and I can own this m-----f-----. I'm going down to the field, whether you like it or not.''

The woman suffered a sprained shoulder, according to Acevedo. He noted that authorities are in contact with Bennett's lawyer.

The injury to the elderly charge includes intentionally and knowingly causing bodily injury to a person 65 years or older and carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

"Mr. Bennett might think that he's an NFL player, and at that time and place, he thinks he doesn't have to answer to police officer. I'm proud of the fact our department took the time to investigate this thoroughly," Acevedo said.

Acevedo said a detective did not actively start working the case until September because the police department had prioritized more serious cases. There is no video of the alleged incident, according to Acevedo.

The Eagles said they are aware of the situation and gathering more information. A spokesman for the NFL said the league is looking into the matter.

Bennett was traded from the Seattle Seahawks to the Eagles along with a seventh-round pick on March 14 for a fifth-round pick and wide receiver Marcus Johnson.

A source told ESPN that the Seahawks were not aware of the situation involving Bennett until Friday. The Eagles also were not aware of the alleged incident before the trade.

In August, Bennett was detained outside a nightclub after the Conor McGregor-Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight as police searched for what they believed at the time was an active shooter. Bennett accused police officers of racial profiling, saying they pointed guns at him and used excessive force.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said its internal investigation found "no evidence" that officers used excessive force and that they had reasonable suspicion to detain Bennett.

ESPN's Brady Henderson and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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