A Harris County (Texas) grand jury indicted Michael Bennett on a felony charge of injuring an elderly person.
A Harris County (Texas) grand jury indicted Eagles defensive end Michael Bennett on a felony charge of injury of the elderly.
Bennett allegedly injured a 66-year-old paraplegic person who was controlling access to the field at Super Bowl LI in Houston, where the Patriots beat the Falcons on Feb. 6, 2017. Bennett was in the crowd that day to watch his brother Martellus, a tight end who played for New England at the time. The indictment accuses Bennett of pushing through security personnel at the stadium to obtain access to the field.
From the Harris County district attorney's office:
Immediately following the game, Bennett shoved his way on to the field where players were gathering to celebrate.
NRG Security personnel, including the 66-year-old disabled victim, told Bennett he had to use a different entrance for field access.
Instead, he pushed through them, including the elderly woman who was part of the security team.
The charge, injury to the elderly, includes intentionally and knowingly, causing bodily injury to a person 65 years or older.
It carries a penalty of up to ten years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
As a result of the indictment, a warrant has been issued for Bennett’s arrest. Prosecutors are working with Bennett’s counsel regarding his surrender.
Last August, after the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight in Las Vegas, Bennett was detained by Las Vegas police as they responded to reports of an active shooter. Bennett penned an open letter in which he detailed the incident, and implied that he had been racially profiled. No charges were filed against the officers.
Bennett, 32, was recently traded by the Seahawks to the Eagles in exchange for a seventh-round pick. In addition to leading the Seahawks to a Super Bowl XLVIII title and making three Pro Bowls, the defensive end is also one of the league's most outspoken social activists.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer's Zach Berman, the Houston police department said the Bennett indictment took so long (more than 13 months since the incident) because the department prioritized "more significant cases." Berman also said he was told that no video of the incident exists but that a police officer saw it.
"We are aware of the situation involving Michael Bennett and are in the process of gathering more information," the Eagles said in a statement. "Because this is an ongoing legal matter, we will have no further comment at this time."