The Buffalo Bills have encountered yet another off-season disruption, only this time, it is far more serious than a contract dispute. On Sunday morning, around 2:45am, Bills’ running back LeSean McCoy was allegedly involved in an altercation with three off-duty police officers in a Philadelphia nightclub. The altercation commenced after there was some dispute as to the possession of champagne bottles that were ordered. As shouting ensued between the parties, a physical altercation manifested, resulting in injuries to two of the off-duty officers.
A friend of McCoy’s allegedly grabbed one of the bottles from the officer’s hands, and punched the officer, knocking him to the ground. While on the ground, the officer was punched, kicked, and stomped on multiple times by McCoy and his three friends. The second officer tried to break up the fight and also received injuries. The first officer suffered broken ribs, a broken nose, and lacerations to his right eye and a sprained thumb. The second officer was also admitted to the hospital, where he received stitches over his right eye and is being treated for a possible skull fracture.
McCoy is facing criminal charges, including aggravated assault. Aggravated assault is an attempt to cause serious bodily injury to another or to cause serious bodily injury purposely, knowingly or recklessly, with an extreme indifference to the value of human life. With video evidence of the bar fight exposed, it is likely McCoy will plead guilty to the aggravated assault charge. The video depicts McCoy, along with his friends, both ‘knowingly’ and ‘purposely’ inflicting bodily harm to the officers. Perhaps McCoy did not intend to inflict serious harm, however he certainly acted with a ‘reckless indifference to the life of another’ with his actions.
The most likely defense to be formed by McCoy is that of self-defense. McCoy may argue that he was placed in a position where the use force was necessary in order to protect himself and/or to protect his friends. McCoy’s legal team may try and argue that McCoy did not have the mental capacity to control his behavior due to consumption of alcohol, but this is likely a weak defense. Aggravated assault is usually a felony punishable by approximately one to twenty years in prison, depending on the specific provisions of each state’s sentencing statute or sentencing guidelines.
It will certainly be an uphill battle for McCoy, as the video evidence strongly suggests that he assaulted these officers. It has been reported that, if charged, he will turn himself in. The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office has just received the video surveillance evidence this morning, so no charges have been issued to any of the men just yet.
As for the Buffalo Bills; the team put out a statement Monday that reads:
“We are aware of the reports regarding LeSean McCoy and are in the process of gathering more information. We will not provide any further comment at this time.”