Two Philadelphia police officers who got into an off-duty bar brawl with former Eagles running back LeSean “Shady” McCoy in February have sued the footballer for assault and battery.
Officers Roland Butler and Darnell Jessie say McCoy, 28, now with the Buffalo Bills, former University of Pittsburgh player Tamarcus Porter, and Christopher Henderson attacked them over a bottle of champagne each party claimed as their own. Also named as defendants are the Recess Lounge, an Old City club where the Feb. 7 incident occurred; and the Manayunk Club, which owns the lounge.
The officers allege that Porter started the fracas when he tried to snatch a bottle of champagne from Butler’s hands, according to the lawsuit filed today in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. The officers and a sergeant had purchased four bottles of champagne shortly beforehand, according to police incident reports.
When Butler insisted he’d bought the champagne, Porter pushed and punched Butler in the face, knocking him to the ground, according to the complaint. McCoy, Henderson “and others” then joined in the assault, the complaint states. When Jessie tried to intervene, McCoy popped him in the eye, attorneys William M. Davis, Fortunato N. Perri and Brian J. McMonagle wrote in their complaint. The officers claim the footballers were “clearly intoxicated.”
The fight ended only after three bouncers intervened and threw the men out of the bar, according to police incident reports.
Jessie suffered facial fractures, a concussion and a cut that required eight stitches to close, while Butler sustained a broken nose, several broken ribs, a broken thumb and bruises on his torso and eye, according to the complaint.
Both officers missed two months of work as they recovered, the lawsuit states.
The complaint accuses the athletes and the club of assault and battery, conspiracy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, and illegally serving alcohol to already-drunk customers.
“What normally would seem like a silly argument over a bottle of champagne turned into a really vicious, brutal assault that left both of them with very serious injuries requiring surgery for one, stitches, broken bones,” Davis said. “Really what they wanted to see was some sort of justice in the end of all this. That’s why we are where we are now.”
Jessie and Butler, both 40, are 11-year veterans of the department, while Ayres joined 10 years ago, according to city payroll records.
Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams decided not to file charges against the football players in April due to “conflicting accounts” of what occurred, despite pressure from the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police President John McNesby.
“They want to see the true facts come out,” Davis said. “They don’t feel like that has happened yet. And they feel like the courts will allow that to happen.”