Albert Haynesworth settles with assault victim; charge dismissed
Haynesworth is also currently facing charges in Virginia for allegedly punching a man during a road-rage assault. His trial is scheduled for May. At one point last summer
Redskins 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 his victim, identified by Haynesworth’s lawyer as Arthur J. Velasquez, 38, of Leesburg, would comment after the brief hearing or discuss the terms of the settlement. But Haynesworth’s lawyer did confirm 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, in a white polo shirt, blue jeans, tennis shoes and sporting an outsize diamond earring, did not speak during a brief hearing before Fairfax District Court Judge Mark C. Simmons and ignored reporters as he left the courthouse with lawyer Steven Merril. Merril said the terms of the settlement were confidential and he would not discuss whether money changed hands.
Merril said he did not know how the dismissal of the assault charge would affect Haynesworth’s pending misdemeanor sexual abuse case in the District, and said he had not been contacted by Haynesworth’s lawyers in that case. Erasing a potential assault conviction from his record prior to the District 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, and that another driver thought that 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.”
Police said Haynesworth punched the other driver in the face. Merril would say 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 inflicted. Haynesworth was ordered to pay $72 in court costs.