NFL linebacker charged with attacking NYPD sergeant in Queens after allegedly dodging cab fare
Detroit Lions linebacker Trevor Bates was charged Saturday with attacking an NYPD sergeant in a Queens police precinct after he allegedly refused to pay for his taxi ride, the Queens District Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
A yellow cab driver called police around 1:30 a.m. and said the NFL player, who was staying at a Hampton Inn near LaGuardia Airport, refused to pay his $32 fare.
Police arrested 25-year-old Bates and took him to the 115th Precinct. Police told Bates he would receive a desk appearance ticket before he was allowed to leave, but the DA’s office said Bates became increasingly agitated.
As NYPD Sergeant James O’Brien attempted to calm him down, Bates allegedly punched him in the face, the DA said. Police then used a Taser in order to subdue him.
Sgt. O’Brien was transported to a local Queens hospital, where he was treated for a concussion. He also needed three stitches over his left eye.
Bates was charged with second-degree assault, obstructing governmental administration, theft of services and resisting arrest.
The 6-foot-2, 240-pound Bates was taken to a hospital in Queens for evaluation.
The Lions’ general manager, Bob Quinn, said in a statement that the team is aware of Bates’ arrest but has no further comment for now.
If convicted, Bates faces between probation and up to seven years in prison.
Bates is in his first season with the Lions, appearing in nine games.
Former UMaine standout Trevor Bates accused of skipping cab fare, punching cop in New York
A former star University of Maine football linebacker who now plays for the Detroit Lions allegedly punched a cop in the face after being arrested in New York City early Saturday.
Trevor Bates, 25, of Westbrook is being held at a hospital for psychiatric evaluation after he hit a police sergeant who was trying to fingerprint him after he had been arrested for skipping a cab fare outside a LaGuardia Airport hotel at about 3 a.m., according to a New York City police spokesman. A fraternal group that represents New York City police sergeants said officers who came to the sergeant’s aid tried to use a Taser on Bates, but he ripped the prongs out.
“It happened out of the clear blue sky,” Ed Mullins of the Sergeants Benevolent Association told the New York Post. “He just wailed on the sergeant. The sergeant said he never saw it coming.”
Bates was charged with assault on a police officer, resisting arrest and theft of service and will be held at Elmhurst Hospital until he goes in front of a judge, most likely on Monday, according to the department spokesman. The officer whom Bates allegedly hit suffered a concussion and cuts that required stitches.
Bates’ former Black Bears coach, Jack Cosgrove, was shocked by the arrest. He described Bates as a committed, competitive man of the highest moral standards.
The two men have remained in touch since Bates graduated from the University of Maine, talking several times a year and exchanging holiday greetings, he said.
Cosgrove, who now is the football coach at Colby College, said he knew he wanted the Westbrook High School senior to play for him at UMaine as soon as he looked him in the eye.
“He was very determined,” Cosgrove said. “He looked me in the eye and said, ‘I’m better than you think I am and I’m going to prove it.’ And he did.”
While on the team, Bates was a leader in its voluntary prayer group, Cosgrove said. He was a good student, too, despite the demands of a Division 1 sports program.
The New York Post tracked her and a friend down Saturday morning. They said the last time they’d seen Bates he was tired, frayed from the season and “out of it.”
“I’m shocked because he’s not a fighter,” Christy Bates told the Post. “He’s a great guy. … I’m waiting to hear back from the doctors.”
Bates has moved from team to team during his three NFL seasons, Cosgrove said. He started with the Indianapolis Colts, which drafted him as the 239th overall pick in 2016. He then went to the New England Patriots and was on the practice squad for the team that won the Super Bowl after the 2016 season; had a brief stint with the New York Giants; and most recently landed with the Detroit Lions. Lions coach Matt Patricia knew of Bates’ skill from their time together at the Patriots, Cosgrove said.
The early years of an NFL player can be hard, Cosgrove said.
In a statement released Saturday afternoon, Detroit Lions General Manager Bob Quinn said team officials have yet to talk to Bates, were still gathering information, and had no additional comment.
According to the team website, Bates is a special-teams player who made three tackles and played in nine games this season. Bates has a contract to play for Detroit in the upcoming season, Cosgrove said.