Just days after signing a contract with the Seattle Seahawks, defensive end Aldon Smith is being sought on a second-degree battery charge in a suburb of New Orleans.
According to the St. Bernard's Sheriff's Office (via Amie Just of the New Orleans Times-Picayune), an arrest warrant was issued for Smith for an incident that occurred on Saturday in Chalmette, Louisiana. Officers responded to a call for medical assistance for a man who was allegedly assaulted by an acquaintance. Smith was identified as the suspect in the incident and police in Louisiana said they were still searching for Smith.
"We are aware of the reports regarding Aldon Smith," the Seahawks said in a statement. "Aldon notified us and we are gathering more information. We have no further comment at this time."
St. Bernard Parish District Attorney Perry Nicosia told Jeff Triplett of ESPN.com that Smith allegedly choked the man unconscious over a confrontation that began inside a local coffee shop.
Smith officially signed a one-year deal with the Seahawks on Thursday after taking a free agent visit to the team. Smith played last season for the Dallas Cowboys after being out of the NFL for over three years due to league suspensions and off-field incidents from his time with the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders. The incident in Louisiana comes just two days after he signed with the team.
Smith appeared in all 16 games last season and played well over 800 snaps for the team. He had five sacks and 14 quarterbacks hits in his return to the league.
Smith's previous issues mostly involved issues with alcohol. He had at least five separate incidents with alcohol, including DUIs, detentions, and a domestic violence incident that occurred under the influence as well. Smith had gone through a sobriety program partnered with military veterans struggling with alcohol as well. It's one of the reasons he got the second chance he did last year with Dallas.
If Smith was involved in the incident in Louisiana, his stint with the Seahawks could be a short one.
It's the second offseason in a row the Seahawks have made a player acquisition only to have a legal incident bring his standing with the team into doubt. Last year, the Seahawks traded to acquire cornerback Quinton Dunbar from the Washington Football Team. In May, he was accused of committing an armed robbery with then-New York Giants cornerback Deandre Baker. Allegations of witness payoffs followed and the charges against Dunbar were eventually dropped.
Photo Credit: ARLINGTON, TEXAS - DECEMBER 20: Quarterback Nick Mullens #4 of the San Francisco 49ers is pressured by defensive end Aldon Smith #58 of the Dallas Cowboys during the first quarter at AT&T Stadium on December 20, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)