Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was handcuffed but not arrested by Las Vegas police after an incident with a security guard over the weekend. Authorities said Elliott, who was attending a music festival, was detained but released after the security guard declined to press charges.
Video footage of the incident, which police said occurred at about 3 a.m. Sunday, was published Monday by TMZ Sports. The video shows Elliott, 23, approaching the guard and asking, “You got something to say?”
Elliott appears to make contact with the man, who then falls backward over metal railing before authorities detained him.
“What we are aware of is he wasn’t arrested and hasn’t been charged,” Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones said Monday (via dallascowboys.com). “We’ll just continue to gather information, and that’s all we can say at this time.”
According to a statement from the police (via USA Today), some of their officers were working at the Electric Daisy Carnival festival when they “observed from a distance an adult male, later identified as Elliott, push a security officer to the ground.” Police said that the security guard “who was the victim of the misdemeanor battery, refused to press charges and officers escorted Elliott a short distance away and he was released.”
“Security misconstrued and overreacted to the situation,” Elliott’s agent, Frank Salzano, told TMZ.
Salzano said his client was handcuffed “as a precautionary measure” and released without no charges.
Salzano said, per reports, that Elliott left Las Vegas on Sunday to go to Dallas for his youth football camp.
Since the Cowboys made him the No. 4 pick in the 2016 draft, Elliott has led the NFL in rushing yards per game in each of his three seasons. He was limited to 10 games in 2017 because of a six-game suspension, handed down after an investigation into domestic assault accusations that stemmed from an episode with a former girlfriend .
The NFL has yet to respond to The Washington Post’s request for comment on the incident in Las Vegas. Elliott could potentially face some form of punishment from the league, despite not having been arrested.
ESPN reported that an NFL source said the league is “still gathering information.” The source was quoted as saying in a text that he or she didn’t “think it’s a big deal,” adding that it “looks like [the guard] was pushed and [a] punch wasn’t thrown.”
The Cowboys picked up the fifth-year option on Elliott’s rookie contract in April, ensuring his services at least through 2020, and the team has said it wants to sign him to a lucrative extension.
Saying Monday that it was “so unfair to comment at this point,” Jones declared, “I think Zeke has been great in this community.” The Cowboys executive pointed to Elliott’s recent offer to pay for the funeral of a 14-year-old football player in St. Louis who was killed by a stray bullet.
“Zeke’s got a big heart,” Jones said. “These are all bumps, and people have challenges.”