Bears' DT Henry Melton arrested in Texas bar dispute
Pro Bowl defensive tackle Henry Melton, who has been on injured reserve with torn ligaments in his left knee since Sept. 27, was arrested in Grapevine, Texas, early Sunday morning and charged with public intoxication and misdemeanor assault after a fracas with staff members at a bar.
Melton was freed on a $1,250 bond Sunday morning, and his attorney Jordan Woy told ESPN.com that the five-year veteran admitted getting into an argument with a bartender at Chill Sports Bar and Grille in Grapevine, where he attended high school.
"It's still preliminary, and we're looking into everything," Woy told ESPN.com. "But Henry said he didn't do anything. He said he didn't throw a punch at anybody and that he got jumped by a couple of bouncers on the way out."
Grapevine police Sgt. Robert Eberling, according to an Associated Press report, said Melton suffered a cut nose but declined treatment. Eberling told AP the 27-year-old Melton allegedly punched the manager in the face and bit his arm. The manager wasn't seriously hurt. Eberling said four bar staffers restrained Melton until police arrived.
"Evidently, Mr. Melton was there and became belligerent with the wait staff," Eberling told the Daily Herald. "A manager approached Mr. Melton and asked him to leave. Mr. Melton struck the manager, punching him in the face."
At that point, Eberling said, Melton and the manager became entangled.
"I believe the manager tried to restrain him, to prevent being punched any further. And during that process, he was able, basically, to get Mr. Melton in a headlock," he said. "That's when he received a bite to his arm from Mr. Melton.
"It took all four of them to restrain Melton to the ground," Eberling added. "In that process, Mr. Melton received a cut to his nose."
When police arrived, Eberling said, they notified medics. Melton, he said, refused medical treatment.
The assault charge is a misdemeanor. Eberling said that case is still under investigation, and Tarrant County would be responsible for setting a trial date. The intoxication charge would be handed in a Grapevine municipal court.
Melton, a fourth-round pick out of Texas in 2009, made his first Pro Bowl last season when he had 6 sacks and a team-best 24 quarterback pressures. Failing to agree with the team on a long-term deal last off-season, Melton was given the franchise tag, which came with an $8.45 million contract for this season. But he suffered a torn ACL in the third game of the season, with no sacks and 5 tackles. He will become an unrestricted free agent in mid-March.
"We are aware of the reports regarding Henry Melton," the Bears said in a statement early Sunday afternoon. "We are currently gathering information to learn more about the circumstances surrounding the arrest."
• Staff Writer Steve Zalusky contributed to this story