Credit Godofredo A. Vasquez/Houston Chronicle, via Associated Press
Michael Bennett, the Pro Bowl defensive end who recently was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles, surrendered to the authorities in Houston on Monday on a charge that he injured a woman in a wheelchair while trying to get onto the field after Super Bowl LI.
Mr. Bennett was a spectator at NRG Stadium in Houston for the game between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons on Feb. 5, 2017. The Harris County district attorney’s office said that Mr. Bennett ignored instructions to go to a different field entrance and subsequently pushed past a group of security employees to try to congratulate his brother, Martellus, who had just won the game as a member of the Patriots. Prosecutors said the group of security personnel included a 66-year-old paraplegic woman who sustained injuries during the incident.
After Mr. Bennett’s brief court appearance on Monday, a judge set his bond at $10,000 on a felony count of injury to the elderly. He was expected to post bail and be released.
A nine-year N.F.L. veteran who won a Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks following the 2013 season, Mr. Bennett is one of the league’s most outspoken players. Frequently a media darling along with his brother, Mr. Bennett is a published author and the head of a charitable foundation that fights childhood obesity. He has yet to comment publicly on this incident.
At the N.F.L. owners meetings in Orlando, Fla., Howie Roseman, the Eagles’ executive vice president of football operations, told reporters that the team did not know about the accusations until Friday, nine days after the team officially acquired Bennett from the Seahawks via trade. Mr. Roesman said the team was not jumping to conclusions before all of the facts have been presented.
“In this country, people are presumed innocent,” Mr. Roseman said. “I think we have to be fair about that in all these matters. I don’t think it’s fair in any situation to not give people the right to present their side. I don’t want to get into this, but our overriding philosophy on things are people are innocent until proven guilty.”
Mr. Roseman said the team conducted a background check on Mr. Bennett and that players they interviewed reported that he was well-liked and a good teammate.