Ask any New England Patriots fan what they loved most about former standout linebacker Willie McGinest, and you’ll often hear some variation of the same thing: The man just exuded “The Patriot Way.”
Ferocious, smart and effective (the man is still the NFL’s all-time career playoff sacks leader), McGinest was every bit as vital to the New England Patriots’ early string of Super Bowls as anyone, including Tom Brady and Adam Vinatieri.
According to TMZ, McGinest has been charged with one count of assault with a deadly weapon and one count of assault by means of force likely to cause great bodily harm.
Both charges stem from the same harrowing restaurant incident dating back to December.
In the video, it appears that, as McGinest and his crew were leaving a restaurant, something happened that completely set off the retired NFL star.
McGinest, who is a very large person (in his playing days, he was listed at 6-foot-5 and 270 pounds, and he still appears to be in astounding shape for a 51-year-old), allegedly lost it over something, and apparently joined in as the alleged victim was totally outnumbered.
You can check out the whole video yourself below:
WARNING: The following video shows violence that some viewers may find disturbing
At one point in the scuffle, the combatants completely derailed dinner for another family as they knocked over the table.
A little bit after that, a man identified as McGinest appears to be jabbing the man with a bottle of some sort, which could be where the assault with a deadly weapon charge could originate from.
According to TMZ, both charges carry up to four years in prison — each.
McGinest, for his part, has already faced some consequences for his alleged angry outburst.
According to Pro Football Talk, the NFL Network suspended McGinest after the original arrest in December, and the Patriots legend has not been on television since.
Shortly after the incident was first reported, McGinest did issue a swift apology, per TMZ.
“First and foremost, I want to offer my deepest apology for my lapse in judgment and behavior on December 9 at a restaurant in West Hollywood,” McGinest said. “To my family, community, friends, and youth I mentor, please know I feel horrible for my actions and take full responsibility.”
McGinest’s arraignment in the case has been set for April.
McGinest has been largely quiet on social media, with his last tweet being a statement he posted on Dec. 23, 2022.
— Willie McGinest (@WillieMcGinest) December 23, 2022
“This incident has prompted me to deep self-reflection – mind, soul, and spirit. I know that violence is never the answer to such situations, no matter how intense the provocation. Rest assured, I will take whatever steps necessary to restore the public trust, mend damaged relationships, and ensure this never happens again.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.