Seahawks defensive end Aldon Smith turned himself in to police in the New Orleans area Tuesday night, was booked on a second-degree felony battery charge and then released, the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office confirmed Wednesday morning.
According to the sheriff’s office, Smith turned himself in shortly before 7 p.m. He was booked and released on $25,000 bond.
The Criminal Investigations Bureau had issued a warrant for Smith’s arrest Monday after he allegedly assaulted a man outside a business in the 8600 block of West Judge Perez Drive in Chalmette, Louisiana, on Saturday night, according to the release.
The arraignment has been set for July 14 at 9 a.m.
If convicted, Smith can be fined not more than $2,000 or imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for up to eight years, or both.
The incident occurred two days after the Seahawks announced Smith’s signing. He reached an agreement with the Seahawks on Thursday, a day after he visited the team’s facility in Renton.
According to authorities, at around 7:30 p.m. Saturday, deputies responded to a call for medical assistance. When they arrived, the statement says, “they came into contact with a male victim who said he was assaulted by an acquaintance of his” earlier while standing outside a business in Chalmette.
A press release from St. Bernard Parish District Attorney Perry Niscoia stated that the victim suffered “severe injuries.”
The statement said further that during the course of the investigation detectives with the Criminal Investigations Bureau identified the suspect as Smith.
An incident report obtained Wednesday afternoon by WWL-TV in New Orleans said the man alleged to have been assaulted by Smith told police that Smith choked him unconscious during a dispute surrounding the man’s marriage to a relative of Smith’s.
The station reported that the report said the responding deputy said he noticed abrasions to the face of the victim and ligature marks on the left and right sides of his neck.
According to the report, Smith and the man had set up a meeting to discuss marital issues between Smith’s relative and himself at a St. Bernard Parish coffee shop. The victim said he was under the impression Smith would be by himself but that he showed up with another man and that two other men showed up later.
According to the report, the meeting grew heated with the victim saying Smith and one of the other men threatened his life if he hurt his wife again.
It was then agreed that all would go outside, according to the report. But once outside, according to the report obtained by WWL, Smith grabbed the man’s cellphone and destroyed it and then began choking him with one hand and slapping him with the other.
The report states one of the other men then began punching the victim before Smith punched and kicked him and then began choking him until he lost consciousness.
An ambulance showed up and the victim was advised to get treatment.
According to WDSU-TV, the incident was captured on camera.
In a statement Monday afternoon, the Seahawks said they were looking into the matter. “We are aware of the reports regarding Aldon Smith,” the statement read. “Aldon notified us and we are gathering more information. We have no further comment at this time.”
Smith signed a one-year deal for the veteran minimum worth a total of $1.275 million with a $990,000 base salary for 2021. The deal includes a dead cap hit of $137,500.
The Seahawks have begun Phase One of their offseason program, which includes virtual meetings and strength and conditioning work. The program is voluntary and the Seahawks are among more than 20 teams whose players released statements through the NFL Players Association stating they will not attend any of the program in-person due to continuing concerns over COVID-19.
The arrest is the latest in a long line of off-field issues that have derailed Smith’s once-promising NFL career.
Smith, 31, was suspended by the NFL for all of the 2016-19 seasons — as well as part of the 2014 and 2015 seasons — for a variety of offenses including a domestic violence arrest, a hit-and-run and one yearlong suspension for violating the league’s policy on substance abuse.
He was cleared to play last year and saw action in all 16 games with the Cowboys, recording five sacks, three in a September game in Seattle against the Seahawks.