NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – An NFL player accused of punching an NYPD sergeant earlier this year in Queens faced a judge Friday.
In January, police said Detroit Lions linebacker Trevor Bates refused to pay his $32 cab fare when he was dropped off at a Hampton Inn hotel in East Elmhurst. Officers were called and took him into custody.
Police said Bates refused to be fingerprinted and punched a sergeant in the face. Officers used a Taser on him and brought him to a hospital for a psychological evaluation.
The injured sergeant was treated for a slight concussion and needed three stitches.
Bates was charged with assault, resisting arrest, theft of services and obstructing governmental administration. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in jail.
“The defendant is accused of striking an NYPD Sergeant, who was following procedure and doing his job. After the defendant was told he had to be fingerprinted – required in every arrest – the man became combative and punched the sergeant in the face,” the Queens district attorney’s office said in a statement Friday. “This kind of behavior can not and will not be tolerated in Queens. The police sergeant sustained a concussion and required stitches to close a gash over his eye. The defendant, who was slated to receive a DAT (desk appearance ticket) for the alleged fare evasion charge – now faces the possibility of going to prison.”
The 25-year-old was drafted in 2016 by the Indianapolis Colts but has bounced from practice squad to practice squad over the last three years. He spent time with both the New York Giants and New England Patriots in 2017 before playing nine games for the Lions in 2018.
The NFL says player arrests are at an all-time low and involve less than one percent of players. There were 37 incidents involving 35 players which resulted in arrests in 2018, nearly half the total from 2014, according to the league.