Buffalo Bills running back LeSean ‘Shady’ McCoy is expected to face criminal charges in brawl at the Philadelphia nightclub, Recess, early Sunday morning. Details of the incident are still emerging, but it appears that a group of off-duty police officers purchased several bottles of champagne and one of McCoy’s group of friends grabbed a bottle.
As a result, an argument started and a police officer was punched and thrown to the ground. Police reports indicate that while on the ground the police officer was “punched, kicked, and stomped” on both his head and body by a group of four suspects, including LeSean McCoy. A second off-duty officer and a group of bodyguards joined the fray and all involved were ejected from the club.
Two off-duty police officers received treatment at the hospital for injuries ranging from a broken rib, possible skull fracture, lacerations, and a sprained thumb.
Surveillance cameras inside the bar were “not working”, but a video of the fight has emerged. It shows the running back McCoy brawling with a group of men. Both police and the NFL are investigating the incident.
Rumors are swirling that arrest warrants are imminent in the case. Based on Pennsylvania law, it seems those involved will likely be charged with aggravated assault. Police officers in Pennsylvania fall into a protected class, and any attempt to cause bodily injury is a felonious aggravated assault offense. Aggravated assault that does not result in serious harm is punishable with up to 10 years in prison and a fine as high as $25,000. Serious bodily harm moves the punishment to as long as 20 years in prison.
McCoy, through his criminal defense lawyer, will likely have the option of filing application for the ARD program. The ARD program is short for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition, which is a first time offenders program, generally for defendant’s charged with relatively minor crimes. There in-lies the problem for “Shady”, Agg. Assault is a felony charge, which are more serious criminal offenses. It has been our experience with these type charges, that it is tough, but doable to get a defendant into the ARD program, even with such a serious charge. Getting a client into the ARD program often times takes skill and finesse, it is where the criminal defense lawyer makes his bones.
The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office will review the application and make determination if someone is eligible to participate in the program. If accepted into ARD, Shady would agree to a probationary sentence, often times with conditions such as restitution to the victim (i.e. medical bills for the officers), rehabilitative classes (i.e. anger management) and community service. If you complete the ARD requirements you may be eligible to have your record expunged.
Aside from the criminal charges facing McCoy, the NFL may impose separate penalties according to their collective bargaining agreement – which can be harsh, just ask Ray Rice. Needless to say, this was not a good look for McCoy, who is coming off being traded by the Philadelphia Eagles to the Buffalo Bills, a sub-par injury plagued season, and countless other off the field incidents.
An arrest warrant for McCoy is reported to be imminent, criminal charges in brawl remain to be seen, but it LeSean McCoy looks to be facing a clash in the courtroom soon. A word of advice Shady – lawyer-up and quick!