HOUSTON (FOX 26) - "Honestly, I don't think there's a tight end in the NFL that can block me," said Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Michael Bennett. He obviously thinks highly of himself, but the leader of the Houston Police Department is not that impressed with the NFL star.
"We need to have respect and quite frankly when you are at that level in society where you are probably a multi-millionaire, how about treating people with dignity?," asked HPD Chief Art Acevedo. "But more important, how about not putting your hands on a 66-year-old paraplegic?" That is what Bennett allegedly did to a wheelchair-bound NRG Stadium employee. A Harris County grand jury indicted Bennett with injury of the elderly, a felony offense.
Immediately following Super Bowl LI in Houston, police say Bennett forcibly opened the locked doors at the southwest corner of the stadium, even though security at the Budweiser tunnels told him he did not have access. That didn't stop the football star, who allegedly shoved his way past stadium workers to get on the field.
"Mr Bennett then went up to a 66-year-old female, a paraplegic working security at NRG, and pushed her," said Chief Acevedo.
The woman had to seek medical attention for her shoulder injury.
"He's morally bankrupt," added Chief Acevedo. "There's no excuse for that. None. Zero."
The Philadelphia Eagles released the following statement on Friday:
We are aware of the situation involving Michael Bennett and are in the process of gathering more information. Because this is an ongoing legal matter we will have no further comment at this time.
Bennett was a spectator and in the stadium to support his brother, who played for the New England Patriots.
The charge 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 attorneys regarding his surrender.
Bennett is expected to surrender to authorities at 1pm on Monday, March 26 on injury to elderly charge. He will be represented by Houston attorney, Rusty Hardin.