Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy is one of four suspects being investigated by Philadelphia police for the assault of two off-duty officers Sunday night.
The alleged assault occurred at 2:45 a.m. Sunday at Recess Lounge, a nightclub in the Old City section of Philadelphia.
The dispute began over the ownership of a bottle of champagne, according to police, which led to pushing and shoving. The first victim, a 40-year-old Philadelphia police officer, fell to the ground after being punched. While on the ground, he was punched, kicked and stomped in the head and body multiple times by the four suspects, according to police.
While the official police statement did not identify the victims, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Monday that 11-year veteran Roland Butler was the first officer assaulted.
The second officer, Darnell Jessie, 40, an 11-year veteran of the force, along with security guards, broke up the fight and all involved were ejected from the nightclub.
Butler drove himself to the hospital and was treated for a laceration to his right eye, a broken nose, broken ribs and a sprained thumb.
Jessie also was admitted to the hospital and received eight stitches over his left eye and is also being treated for a possible skull fracture, according to police.
Philadelphia Police Sergeant Daniel Ayers was with the officers that night, according to multiple reports in the media there, but is not listed as a victim in the statement issued by police.
The Inquirer reported Monday that police are seeking arrest warrants.
McCoy, 27, played six seasons with the Eagles before being traded to the Bills last year. He is one of four suspects, along with former NFL running back and Philadelphia native Curtis Brinkley, 30; former University of Pittsburgh football player Tamarcus Porter, 27; and Christopher Henderson, 26.
According to a report from CSNPhilly.com, the officers had purchased four bottles of champagne when Porter tried to take one of them from Butler and the fight broke out.
The statement released by Philadelphia police says the four suspects were identified by the complainants and security guards. Video surveillance shows those involved being ejected from the nightclub, but the fight was not captured on video.
Recess Lounge is described as a “Members Only Club” on its website, one that is “purposely tucked below the hustle and bustle of historic old city, Philadelphia.”
The Bills issued the following statement late Monday morning:
“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.”
McCoy’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, did not return a message left to him by The Buffalo News.
In May 2013, McCoy was sued for assault by a woman in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas for an incident that occurred Dec. 18, 2012, on a party bus from Philadelphia to New York City.
The complaint states that the woman, identified as “Mary Roe,” objected to being sprayed with water by McCoy, who then instructed his bodyguard, “Big John,” to “get her.”
“Big John and/or McCoy then struck plaintiff in the face, causing her to fall to the ground, physically restrained her while she was lying on the ground, poured a beverage onto her hair, clothes, and body, and forcibly dragged and pushed her,” the complaint stated. “McCoy ordered the driver to stop on the side of the highway, and after the driver did so, both Big John and McCoy then forcibly ejected plaintiff from the bus.”
The woman sought $50,000 in compensatory and punitive damages for assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment and negligence.
Andrew Smith, McCoy’s attorney, issued a statement denying the claims.
“The allegations against LeSean McCoy are completely, unequivocally false,” Smith told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “There are no criminal charges pending and no probable cause was ever found. This is sadly an attempt to extract money and LeSean will vigorously defend any attempt to collect money through a personal injury claim.”
McCoy’s brief tenure in Buffalo has not been without controversy:
• After he was traded for linebacker Kiko Alonso, McCoy was “heartbroken,” those close to him told The Buffalo News late last year. Of course, a reworked contract that paid him $16 million in 2015 – and could see him earn up to $40 million – has a way of mending a broken heart.
• Toward the end of spring practices, McCoy’s comments about former coach Chip Kelly made national headlines.
“I think that’s the way he runs his team. He wants the full control. You see how fast he got rid of all the good players. Especially all the good black players,” McCoy told ESPN. “He got rid of them the fastest. That’s the truth. There’s a reason. ... It’s hard to explain with him. But there’s a reason he got rid of all the black players – the good ones – like that.”
McCoy was subsequently asked in later interviews whether he believed Kelly was a racist, but he declined to address the subject again.
• Prior to the start of training camp, McCoy posted an invitation for a “private event celebration.” The party had a catch, though. It was open to females only, and they had to be at least 21. Those submitting an RSVP got a response informing them they would need to show ID and sign a confidentiality agreement at the party.
The party invitation included a picture of McCoy with the Bills logo in the background. That prompted the team to release a statement saying they “have reached out to LeSean and informed him that players are not permitted to use team marks for personal use without prior permission from the team.”
McCoy ultimately cancelled the party, famously explaining at the start of training camp that “there was no weird orgy thing going on.”
• When the Bills were preparing to face the Eagles in Week 14, McCoy made it clear he would not shake hands with his former coach.
“Listen man, Chip can’t shake (expletive),” he said. “At all. Nothing. He knows this.”
Prior to the game, McCoy took the field as the Bills’ lone captain and proceeded to kiss the Eagles’ logo at midfield. After Buffalo’s loss, he declined to speak with reporters.
Of course, all of those incidents pale in comparison to being investigated for possible assault of off-duty police officers.
On the field, McCoy played in 12 games, rushing 203 times for 895 yards and catching 32 passes for 292 yards, scoring five total touchdowns. He missed two games early in the season because of a hamstring injury, and the final two games of the year because of a knee injury that also kept him out of the Pro Bowl.
He is under contract for four more years, and is scheduled to count $7.675 million against the Bills’ salary cap for the upcoming season.