Washington Redskins defensive back Montae Nicholson was arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault early Tuesday after a drunken fight at a Northern Virginia shopping complex near the team’s practice facilities, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s office.
The team said it is aware of the incident and in the process of gathering more information.
The fight began close to 2 a.m. when Nicholson and a female companion pulled up in a car and honked the horn at a man and woman. Nicholson, 23, and Sydney A. Maggiore, 24, got out of the car and “then it turned physical,” sheriff’s office spokesman Kraig Troxell said.
The altercation took place outside the World of Beer restaurant and bar, where Nicholson, Maggiore and the two victims had been drinking.
Nicholson is accused of assaulting the man, and Maggiore of striking the woman with a bottle, in addition to assaulting the man. Nicholson and Maggiore were held at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center. The victims were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
Nicholson also was charged with being drunk in public. His court appearance has been scheduled for Feb. 6. The assault charge is a misdemeanor that carries a sentence of up to 12 months in jail.
A bartender at the World of Beer who was serving Nicholson, Maggiore and the victims throughout the evening said the two sets of people didn’t appear to know each other or interact throughout most of the night. However, the bartender, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe what happened without fear of repercussions at work, said the four people exchanged words while walking out of the bar.
The bartender said she was behind the restaurant smoking a cigarette shortly afterward when a young woman ran up and said her friends had just been beaten up and that she was pushed to the ground after trying to step in and help them. The bartender then went around to the front of the restaurant and saw the two victims lying on the ground amid a chaotic scene.
“Everyone was freaking out,” said the bartender, who added that she did not see Nicholson and Maggiore out front at that point.
World of Beer hosts a “Service Industry Night” from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday nights, which turns the bar into more of a club environment, including a DJ. The bartender said Redskins players frequently visit the bar on Mondays, and that Derrius Guice, Washington’s rookie running back who has missed this season with a knee injury, was also in attendance Monday but left before the assault.
The bartender said Nicholson was in World of Beer for roughly one or two hours. Maggiore appeared to be trying to regulate Nicholson’s alcohol intake, keeping him from ordering shots, although the bartender said Nicholson ended up being served at least two shots.
It is not yet clear whether Nicholson might be subject to discipline from the team or the NFL. The Redskins' next game is Saturday at the Tennessee Titans.
“We are aware of the arrest of Montae Nicholson,” Redskins spokesman Tony Wyllie said in a statement. “We are gathering more information and will not comment until we have further details.”
Nicholson’s agent, Joe Panos, declined to comment.
Nicholson was a fourth-round draft pick in 2017 out of Michigan State. He played in eight games as a rookie but ended the season on injured reserve. Nicholson started seven games at safety this season but lost his starting job when the team traded for Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in late October. Nicholson has 65 career tackles and three interceptions.
The news of Nicholson’s arrest comes a few weeks after the Redskins received significant public criticism for their decision to claim linebacker Reuben Foster off waivers after he had been released by the San Francisco 49ers following a domestic violence arrest. The NFL placed Foster on the commissioner’s exempt list, which keeps him from practices and games while the league investigates.
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