New York Jets pass rusher Lorenzo Mauldin is alleged to have pummeled a man, giving him serious facial injuries, at a Chelsea nightclub after he spilled champagne on Maudlin, according to the New York Post.
The report cites a lawsuit filed by a 22-year-old Queens native named Jean Lopez, who suffered “multiple maxillofacial fractures” and required “numerous plates” in his face to fix the damage, which included a black left eye and major swelling all over his face. The lawsuit named Maudlin and others in the attack that reportedly occurred at Highline Ballroom, back on April 2 around 2:30 a.m.
Lopez told police he was punched twice in the face and ended up in the hospital afterward.
“It was not a fight,” lawyer Glenn Race said, “it was an attack.”
Charges were not filed initially because Lopez couldn’t ID his attacker the next morning. Race said Lopez was leaving the club when Maudlin hit him without provocation, which was witnessed by other clubgoers.
“[Lopez] had surgery, he still has numbness on the affected side in his mouth area and traveling up to his ear,” Race said. “It’s a bad injury.”
Maudlin’s lawyer, Mitchell Schuster, said the claims were “without merit” and believes his client has a “very strong case” to beat the charges.
“Another individual struck the plaintiff,” Schuster said. “And that will be borne out by the witnesses and other parties involved. … I look forward to pursuing it. Lorenzo’s anxious to being exonerated. He was not involved.”
A team spokesman said the Jets are “aware of the situation but have no further comment at this time.”
The 6-foot-4, 259-pound Maudlin, 24, was a third-round pick out of Louisville in 2015, lauded for his work ethic and character after escaping a tough childhood that included him living in 16 foster homes and both of his parents spending time in jail for multiple stays. After a strong rookie season, Maudlin was not as successful with 2.5 sacks in 2016.
It has been a rough offseason for a Jets team that has major question marks after releasing a slew of veterans and stands as one of the early favorites to earn the first pick in the 2018 NFL draft.
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