Former University of Maine football linebacker Trevor Bates, who plays for the Detroit Lions, is being held at a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation after he allegedly punched a police officer in the face after being arrested early Saturday in New York City.

Bates, 25, of Westbrook was taken to a hospital after he hit a police sergeant who was trying to fingerprint him following Bates’ arrest for skipping a cab fare outside a LaGuardia Airport hotel at about 3 a.m., according to a New York City police spokesman.

His mother, Christy Bates of Westbrook said Sunday afternoon her son was doing well, but declined to comment further.

“He is doing good. I am not going to say anything more,” she said.

A fraternal organization that represents New York City police sergeants said officers who came to the sergeant’s aid tried to use a Taser on Bates, but he ripped the prongs out.

“It happened out of the clear blue sky,” Ed Mullins of the Sergeants Benevolent Association told the New York Post. “He just wailed on the sergeant. The sergeant said he never saw it coming.”


Bates was charged with assault on a police officer, resisting arrest and theft of service and will be held in the hospital until he goes in front of a judge, most likely on Monday, according to the police spokesman. The officer whom Bates allegedly hit suffered a concussion and cuts that required stitches.

Bates, who appeared in nine games for the Lions this year, was taken to Elmhurst Hospital Center, and then transferred to Bellevue Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation, the Post reported.

Bates’ former Black Bears coach, Jack Cosgrove, was shocked by the arrest. He described Bates as a committed, competitive man of the highest moral standards.

“This is not the Trevor I ever knew or saw,” Cosgrove said in a telephone interview Saturday. “He’s one of those great self-made man stories. He came to UMaine out of a program that was not really that good and earned himself a spot on the team, a scholarship, a captaincy, and a seventh-round pick in the NFL draft. He won a Super Bowl ring with the Patriots. He’s exactly what a coach wants out of a player. He’s the success story we all want and not many get to have.”

The two men have remained in touch since Bates graduated from the University of Maine, talking several times a year and exchanging holiday greetings, he said.

Cosgrove, who now is the football coach at Colby College, said he knew he wanted the Westbrook High School senior to play for him at UMaine as soon as he looked him in the eye.


“He was very determined,” Cosgrove said. “He looked me in the eye and said, ‘I’m better than you think I am and I’m going to prove it.’ And he did.”

While on the team, Bates was a leader in its voluntary prayer group, Cosgrove said. He was a good student, too, despite the demands of a Division 1 sports program.

Bates is especially close to his mother, Christy Bates, with whom he lives during the offseason and who has supported him throughout his university and professional career, Cosgrove said. Christy Bates could not be reached for comment Saturday afternoon.

The New York Post tracked her and a friend down Saturday morning. They said the last time they’d seen Bates he was tired, frayed from the season and “out of it.”

“I’m shocked because he’s not a fighter,” Christy Bates told the Post. “He’s a great guy. … I’m waiting to hear back from the doctors.”

Bates has moved from team to team during his three NFL seasons, Cosgrove said. He started with the Indianapolis Colts, which drafted him as the 239th overall pick in 2016. He then went to the New England Patriots and was on the practice squad for the team that won the Super Bowl after the 2016 season; had a brief stint with the New York Giants; and most recently landed with the Detroit Lions. Lions coach Matt Patricia knew of Bates’ skill from their time together at the Patriots, Cosgrove said.


The early years of an NFL player can be hard, Cosgrove said.

The roster cuts, signings and bouncing back and forth between active and practice squads is hard for college stars to handle, but Bates had seemed to manage the career detours well, he said. Getting cut by the Patriots had been devastating for him, Cosgrove said, but Patricia’s decision to sign him with the Lions had made it seem like Bates’ future was back on track.

In a statement released Saturday afternoon, Detroit Lions General Manager Bob Quinn said team officials have yet to talk to Bates, were still gathering information, and had no additional comment.

According to the team website, Bates is a special-teams player who made three tackles and played in nine games this season. Bates has a contract to play for Detroit in the upcoming season, Cosgrove said.

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