NFL player Michael Bennett charged after allegedly shoving worker during Super Bowl LI

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NFL player, Michael Bennett charged with injury to the elderly in incident at Super Bowl in Houston

A Harris County grand jury Friday indicted Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Michael Bennett for the felony charge of injury of the elderly for injuring a 66-year-old paraplegic who was working at NRG Stadium to control access to the field at Super Bowl LI, prosecutors said.

On Feb. 5, 2017, Bennett was a spectator and in town to watch his brother, a player for the New England Patriots.

Immediately following the game, Bennett allegedly 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.

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Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo talks about the indictment of Michael Bennett.



Instead, he pushed through them, including the elderly woman who was part of the security team, police said.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said Bennett allegedly told the people he had pushed, "You all must know who I am and I can own this (expletive). I'm going down to the field, whether you like it or not."

Acevedo called Bennett "morally bankrupt" for pushing the two women. Police said the disabled woman suffered a sprained shoulder when she was allegedly pushed by Bennett, hitting the back of her 800-pound, motorized wheelchair.

"Mr. Bennett may think that because he's an NFL player and some time passed ... he may have thought that, number one, rules don't apply to him, number two, he doesn't have to respect the dignity of a paraplegic woman who's trying to earn a living," Acevedo said at a news conference.

Acevedo said a detective did not actively start working the case until September because the police department had prioritized more serious cases.

The charge, injury to the elderly, includes intentionally and knowingly, causing bodily injury to a person 65 years or older.

It carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

As a result of the indictment, a warrant has been issued for Bennett's arrest. Prosecutors are working with Bennett's counsel regarding his surrender.

"We are aware of the situation involving Michael Bennett and are in the process of gathering more information," the Eagles said. "Because this is an ongoing legal matter, we will have no further comment at this time."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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nflathleteselderlyelder abuseSuper Bowl 51NRG parkHoustonHarris County
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