An NFL player was charged with assault after he allegedly punched an NYPD sergeant following his January arrest for fare evasion. He could face up to seven years in prison if convicted.
The Detroit Lions linebacker, Trevor Bates, appeared before a Queens County grand jury on March 8. He was indicted on charges of assault, resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration and theft of services.
Police said Bates, 25, failed to pay a $32 fare for a cab he took from Manhattan to a Hampton Inn hotel in the East Elmhurst neighborhood of Queens. He was arrested after authorities were called to the scene.
Bates allegedly refused to undergo fingerprinting and punched an NYPD sergeant in the face. The Queens district attorney’s office described his behavior as “combative.” The NFL player allegedly hit Sgt. James O’Brien, who was trying to calm him down. O’Brien was treated for a concussion and required three stitches for a wound over his left eye.
Police said they would have released Bates with an appearance ticket for the fare evasion charge. However, Bates’ refusal to be fingerprinted and alleged punching of the sergeant resulted in the additional assault charges. Fingerprinting is a required procedure in every arrest.