An argument over champagne at an Old City nightclub devolved into a brutal beat-down early Sunday, leaving two off-duty police officers in the hospital and a group of football players, including former Eagles running back LeSean McCoy, facing possible arrest, according to incident reports.
The 2:45 a.m. fight in the Recess Lounge on Second Street remains under investigation. Police are seeking arrest warrants.
McCoy, 27, who was traded last year from the Eagles to the Buffalo Bills, was with former San Diego Chargers running back Curtis Brinkley, 30; former University of Pittsburgh player Tamarcus Porter, 27; and Christopher Henderson, 26. Some members of the group allegedly assaulted three off-duty officers - including a sergeant - in a dispute over a bottle of champagne, according to police reports.
Sgt. Daniel Ayres and Officers Darnell Jessie and Roland Butler had purchased four bottles of champagne shortly before the fracas, according to the incident reports.
Porter tried to claim one bottle from Butler, and a shoving match erupted, according to the police report. That led to a fight in which Porter and his friends "punched, kicked and stomped" Butler, according to the police report. The fight ended only after three bouncers intervened and ejected all seven men from the bar.
Afterward, Jessie was taken to Hahnemann University Hospital, where he got eight stitches over an eye and was being evaluated for a possible skull fracture, according to the police report. Butler drove himself to Delaware County Memorial Hospital, where he was treated for a broken nose, broken rib, eye laceration, and sprained thumb, according to the report. It's unclear whether McCoy, Brinkley, and their friends were injured.
The nightclub where the fight occurred had surveillance cameras, but they weren't working, according to the incident reports. It is under a parking garage and has a nondescript entrance.
Attempts to reach club owners Monday were unsuccessful.
In a statement, the Bills said, "We are aware of the reports regarding LeSean McCoy and are in the process of gathering more information. We will not provide any further comment at this time."
Drew Rosenhaus, McCoy's agent, said he was not commenting at this time.
Jessie and Butler, both 40, are 11-year veterans of the department, while Ayres joined 10 years ago, according to city payroll records. A police spokesman issued a statement summarizing the incident but did not identify any of the participants. None of the officers could be reached for comment Monday.
John McNesby, president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, defended the officers, saying, "Our guys look like they got the brunt of it, so we're waiting to see the outcome of the investigation. Looks like there could be charges."
Of McCoy, McNesby added: "Maybe he should stay in Buffalo and carry on like an idiot in Buffalo."
Porter played wide receiver at Pitt while McCoy was a running back there. In 2009, Porter was kicked off the team after his second drunken-driving arrest in less than a year.
He and McCoy have apparently remained close. According to a story published in August by the sports website Bleacher Report, Porter was helping McCoy search for houses in Buffalo and was planning on living with him during the season.
Brinkley, originally from West Philadelphia, was shot and wounded in an apparent case of mistaken identity by his sister's boyfriend in July 2009 in Cheltenham. Anthony Peterson Jr. is serving a seven- to 14-year term after admitting the bullets were intended for a romantic rival.
McCoy caught headlines nationally in 2014 after he left a 20-cent tip on a $61.56 bill at a burger restaurant in Northern Liberties. McCoy defended the gratuity as his statement on bad service.
Staff writers Chris Palmer and Zach Berman contributed to this article.