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Prosecutors dismiss felony charge against Michael Bennett

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  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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Prosecutors in Texas are dismissing a felony charge against NFL defensive end Michael Bennett, who was accused of pushing the arm of a paraplegic security guard while trying to get onto the field after the 2017 Super Bowl in Houston.

The Harris County district attorney's office announced the decision Wednesday. Bennett, recently traded to the New England Patriots, was indicted by a grand jury in March 2018 on a felony count of injury to the elderly. Vivian King, the DA's chief of staff, said "a crime could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt."

"Michael and I have always insisted that he was not guilty, and today's dismissal simply confirms that," Bennett's attorney, Rusty Hardin, said in a statement obtained by NFL Network's Tom Pelissero on Wednesday. "Whatever happened to the lady on whose behalf the charges were brought -- and I have no doubt that she's a very nice, decent human being -- it wasn't done by Michael.

"There were a large group of New England player family members that were authorized by credential to go down on the field after the game; Michael was one of them, but he wasn't the first one to go through the door where this incident occurred. There was a large group of them rushing through, and whatever happened, it wasn't done by Michael. He's just simply not the person that would ever be intentionally or even recklessly causing any kind of harm to a person in a wheelchair as happened here. Whatever did happen, it was never us.

"I always believed that ultimately, when it was reviewed thoroughly, people would conclude that it was a colossal mistake. And I and Michael want to thank the district attorney's office and the police for having the courage to do the right thing."

Bennett was a spectator at the 2017 game and a member of the Philadelphia Eagles when he tried to get onto the field after the Patriots' win to see his brother, Martellus Bennett, a tight end for the team at the time.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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