A Harris County grand jury Friday indicted Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Michael Bennett for the felony charge of injury of the elderly for allegedly injuring a 66-year-old paraplegic who was working at NRG Stadium to control access to the field at Super Bowl LI, prosecutors said.
Police waited for Bennett, who played at Alief Taylor High School and Texas A&M, to turn himself in Friday night.
Moments after the New England Patriots won Super Bowl LI in tight end Martellus Bennett’s hometown, his brother, Michael, forced his way onto the field, according to Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo.
Detectives heard conflicting stories on whether Michael Bennett had credentials. However, security saw no room for more people on the field when Michael Bennett approached through a tunnel.
When stopped, the 6-foot-4, 274-pound NFL defensive lineman pushed through locked doors, then shoved security, which included two women, Chief Acevedo said. One of the women was 66 years old, paralyzed from her chest down. She claims Michael Bennett pushed her so hard, he sprained her shoulder, according to police.
An officer tried to help, but said Michael Bennett blew him off, too.
“(Bennett) said, 'F*** you,' and walked past (the officer) on the field,” Chief Acevedo said. “'Y’all must know who I am, and I can own this m***** f*****. I’m going on to the field whether you like it or not.' Those are quotes.”
(WARNING: The video below contains strong language from Chief Acevedo. Viewer discretion is advised.)
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 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
“I’m grateful that a guy who decides to push a 66-year-old black female paraplegic little old woman that’s trying to make a living making a fraction of what he’s making not only did they have to put up with his verbal abuse but had to put up with his physical assault,” Chief Acevedo said.
The victim refused to speak with KHOU 11 News. Michael Bennett’s family promised a statement.
Michael Bennett and his brother, Martellus, were football stars at Alief Taylor High School. Though Michael Bennett now lives in Hawaii, his foundation still works with kids in the Houston area.
The Philadelphia Eagles just signed Michael Bennett to a multi-million dollar contract.
“We are aware of the situation involving Michael Bennett and are in the process of gathering more information,” the team said in a statement. “Because this is an ongoing legal matter, we will have no further comment at this time.”
Police issued a warrant for Bennett’s arrest Friday.