New York Jets linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin was arrested Wednesday and charged with misdemeanor assault after allegedly attacking a man in an April 2 nightclub altercation, according to a New York Police Department spokesperson.
Mauldin, 24, is accused of punching Jean Lopez, 22, of Queens, in the face, per the arrest report. Mauldin could face up to a year in jail, if convicted. He also could be disciplined by the NFL, if he is found to be in violation of the league’s personal conduct policy.
“We have been monitoring developments and this matter is under review of the personal conduct policy,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said.
Responding to an arrest warrant, Mauldin turned himself in Wednesday morning at the 10th precinct and was issued a desk-appearance ticket for Aug. 16. He was accompanied by his attorney, Alex Spiro, who has represented many professional athletes in high-profile cases, including JR Smith and Thabo Sefolosha.
“We’ll answer the charges in court,” Spiro told ESPN.
In June, Lopez filed a civil suit against Mauldin, claiming he suffered multiple facial fractures from the attack. Lopez said Mauldin punched him because he spilled champagne on the player.
“Of course, I was shocked [by the lawsuit], but with everything going on right now, it’s pending,” Mauldin told reporters during last week’s minicamp. “You don’t know what the outcome is going to be, so I’ll just refer everything to my attorney for questions.”
When the civil suit surfaced, Mauldin’s attorney proclaimed his client’s innocence, saying there were multiple witnesses that would confirm he had nothing to do with the alleged assault.
Mauldin, a third-round pick out of Louisville, is entering his third season and is projected as a starter on defense.