Bennett was set to post a $10,000 bond that will allow him to travel to and from Houston and his home in Hawaii for court appearances.
Former Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett turned himself in to Harris County (Texas) court Monday afternoon on a felony charge of injury of the elderly relating to an incident at the Super Bowl on Feb. 5, 2017. He was expected to post a $10,000 bond that will allow him to travel between his home in the Honolulu area and Houston for court appearances.
Bennett was indicted by a grand jury for the felony charge of injury of the elderly for injuring a 66-year-old paraplegic who was working at NRG Stadium in Houston to control access to the field at the Super Bowl in February 2017, the Harris County district attorney’s office announced on Friday. Bennett was also ordered on Monday to have no contact with the woman.
According to KHOU.com, the judge rejected a request from Bennett’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, that there would be no bail and also rejected Hardin’s request to allow Bennett to skip the handcuffs when he’s booked.
“We treat everyone the same in this court,” Judge Robert Johnson told Bennett, according to KHOU.com.
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Court records show that Bennett posted the $10,000 bail and was released with the next court hearing set for April 23.
Friday, the DA’s office announced that a warrant has been issued for the arrest of Bennett, who was traded by the Seahawks to the Philadelphia Eagles this month, in connection with the felony charge.
According to the DA’s statement, Bennett — who attended high school in the Houston area — was in town for the Feb. 5, 2017 Super Bowl to watch his brother, Martellus, who played for the New England Patriots against the Atlanta Falcons.
According to the DA’s statement, “immediately following the game, Bennett shoved his way on to the field where players were gathering to celebrate. NRG Security personnel, including the 66-year-old disabled victim, told Bennett he had to use a different entrance for field access. Instead, he pushed through them, including the elderly woman who was part of the security team.”
The charge of injury to the elderly includes intentionally and knowingly causing bodily injury to a person 65 years or older and carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine, according to the DA’s office statement.
The Seahawks and Eagles have each let it be known that neither team knew about the investigation into Bennett when the trade was made on March 7.
Seattle general manager John Schneider made the team’s first on-the-record comment about the situation Monday at the NFL league meetings in Orlando saying he was not aware of Bennett being investigated until the indictment was announced on Friday.
“No, I didn’t know anything about it,” Schneider said. “And I have a great relationship with (Eagles general manager) Howie (Roseman) and (owner) Mr. (Jeffrey) Lurie. We would never do that.”
Roseman, speaking with Philadelphia media at the NFL league meetings in Orlando on Monday, reiterated that the team did not know about the investigation into Bennett until the indictment was announced on Friday. Roseman also said he did not feel the Seahawks withheld information regarding the incident from them prior to making the trade.
“Yeah, I want to be clear,” Roseman said. “There’s probably not a person, and I’m going to put him on the same ground as a bunch of people, that we trust more than (Seattle general manager) John Schneider and the Seahawks. So there is nothing that we felt like they did wrong, or there is any blame in this matter. It’s a unique circumstance and we’ll deal with it as we go.”
According to NJ.com and other Houston news outlets, Hardin told reporters following the court appearance that he is confident Bennett will be found not guilty.
“When this is all over everyone will know Michael is not guilty,” Hardin said. “He did not do this. … Michael did not assault this lady … Michael never touched her.”