Washington Redskins defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth reached an out-of-court settlement Monday with a man he allegedly punched in a road rage incident in February, and a misdemeanor assault charge against Haynesworth in Fairfax County General District Court was then dismissed.
Neither Haynesworth, 29, nor the complainant, identified by Haynesworth’s attorney as Arthur J. Velasquez, 38, of Leesburg, would comment after the brief hearing or discuss the terms of the settlement. But Haynesworth’s attorney confirmed the sequence of events that led to the Redskins player being charged and said that Velasquez suffered “a bloody nose.”
Under Virginia law, a misdemeanor assault charge may be dismissed if the victim appears in court and “acknowledges in writing that he has received satisfaction for the injury.” Lawyers refer to the resolution as an “accord and satisfaction,” which can include a financial payment, an agreement to stay away from each other or an apology.
Haynesworth, wearing a white polo shirt, jeans, tennis shoes and an outsize diamond earring, did not speak during the hearing before Fairfax District Court Judge Mark C. Simmons and ignored reporters as he left the courthouse with attorney Steven Merril. Merril said that the terms of the settlement were confidential and that he would not discuss whether money changed hands.
Merril said that he did not know how the dismissal of the assault charge would affect Haynesworth’s pending, unrelated misdemeanor sexual abuse case in the District and that he had not been contacted by Haynesworth’s lawyers in that case. Erasing a potential assault conviction prior to the D.C. case would seem to benefit Haynesworth.
Fairfax police said that on Feb. 2, Haynesworth was driving on the Fairfax County Parkway in the Reston area when another driver thought Haynesworth was tailgating him. Merril confirmed the police version of events, that “a gesture was made to Haynesworth, known as ‘the finger,’ ” Merril said.
At a stoplight at New Dominion Parkway, “Haynesworth’s mistake was getting out of the car,” Merril said. “Most judges don’t like that and find the person who gets out of the car bears more responsibility. From that point on, the stories diverge.”
Officers said Haynesworth punched the other driver in the face. Merril said only that Velasquez received a bloody nose.
“He’s sorry about the whole incident,” Merril said of Haynesworth. He said the “accord and satisfaction” was a regularly used legal resolution when only two people are involved and no serious injuries resulted. Haynesworth was ordered to pay $72 in court costs.