An argument over cab money at the home of Junior Galette on Monday morning resulted in the arrests of the New Orleans Saints’ star pass rusher and another man who was there, according to Kenner police.
Officers jailed Galette, 26, on one count of misdemeanor simple battery related to domestic violence; he posted a $600 bond for his release early Monday evening.
He managed to avoid news media who were waiting for him at the Kenner jail’s main entrance, apparently using a side way out.
Simple battery can be punishable by up to six months imprisonment and a fine of $1,000.
Under a personal conduct policy the NFL adopted in December, it’s possible Galette could be suspended for six games in 2015, though it was too early Monday to say what will happen.
Lionel “Lon” Burns, a local defense lawyer who advised Galette on Monday at the request of the player’s friends and family, said Galette’s focus was now on “working to clear his good name, which he has established on and off the football field.”
The second man booked in the incident, 27-year-old Terrance Banks, of Newark, New Jersey, walked out of Kenner’s jail about an hour after Galette left. Banks is facing a count of misdemeanor simple battery, for which his bail was set at $300. He declined to be interviewed as he climbed into a sports car being driven by another man and left.
Officers responded to a disturbance at Galette’s home in the 4400 block of Rue De La Harbor in the Place Pontchartrain subdivision at 8:52 a.m., Kenner Police Lt. Brian McGregor said. Officers said they met with a 22-year-old woman who said that Galette and his “cousin,” Banks, had “jumped” her.
Police said the woman claimed to have been in a relationship with Galette in the past and to have previously lived with him at a home in New Orleans. Though they were no longer together in a relationship, she said she still “stayed” with, cooked for and cleaned for Galette and did whatever he needed her to do, McGregor said.
Galette — who bought his home in the Jefferson Parish municipality of Kenner in September — claimed she was a dancer who went to his house on Sunday night and stayed with him and Banks until Monday morning, police said.
In the morning, the woman said, she woke up Galette and asked for money for a cab. Galette told her to ask Banks, who was a defensive tackle and a teammate of Galette’s on Temple University’s football team before Galette made the Saints as an undrafted rookie out of Stillman College in 2010.
The woman said Galette and Banks then refused to give her any money and told her to leave the house. An argument broke out, and Galette is accused of pushing the woman twice while trying to evict her.
The woman said she fell and both Galette and Banks got on her. She said she couldn’t breathe and couldn’t fight them off, according to police.
Banks then picked her up to put her out of the house, she said. She said she started dialing 911, but Banks took her phone and wouldn’t return it.
The woman said she grabbed a knife because she feared she’d be “jumped” again. Galette then began recording the incident with a phone, she said, according to police.
Police on Monday were working to obtain the recording Galette made.
The woman subsequently put the knife down, and Banks picked her up and took her outside, she said.
She then used her phone — which she had gotten back at that point, police said — to call 911.
She had scratches on the right side of her face, and her right earring had been pulled from her ear, which was bloody, police said. She opted to seek medical treatment on her own instead of from first responders, police said.
When police informed Galette they were arresting him, he called at least one officer an insulting name, McGregor said. He also mentioned to an officer that being booked with domestic violence could negatively affect his contract with the Saints, but he otherwise cooperated, McGregor said during a phone call after an initial news conference.
Some outside observers immediately began speculating Monday that the Saints could opt to cut Galette, a native of Haiti and a co-captain of the defense in 2014. But he would still account for $16.2 million against the Saints’ salary cap in 2015 in that case, and that figure would actually be lower by about $750,000 if he is on the roster, The New Orleans Advocate was told Monday.
That said, it could be that Galette would count less than anticipated against the salary cap if a suspension comes into play. In the case of suspensions, the NFL can sometimes void guaranteed money, depending on what was negotiated into a contract, agent and journalist Joel Corry said to The New Orleans Advocate.
Drew Brees — the Saints’ starting quarterback and the most successful player in franchise history — has language in his contract that would void guarantees upon a suspension, Corry said. It’s likely that his teammates do, too.
The Saints in early September gave Galette a four-year, $41.5 million deal that would extend his contract through 2019.
In his fifth year with the Saints, Galette led New Orleans’ defense in quarterback sacks in 2014 with 10. He had 12 sacks in 2013 as New Orleans got to the divisional round of the playoffs, and he became the first Saints player in a decade to reach double digits in that statistical category in consecutive seasons. Despite that, the Saints this season gave up the second-most yards in the NFL, finished 7-9 and missed the playoffs.
Galette has found himself in trouble away from the field before. He was dismissed from Temple after he said a Haitian cousin of his was arrested in connection with a theft of laptop computers from a dormitory while staying with Galette.
Online records show Galette also had been arrested previously while in Philadelphia, where Temple is. But none of those arrests resulted in a conviction.
In a statement Monday, the Saints said they were aware of Galette’s situation and were gathering information, but they made no other remarks. General Manager Mickey Loomis is scheduled to review the Saints’ season with the media on Tuesday; he may elaborate on Galette’s situation from the team’s perspective then.
Staff writer Nick Underhill contributed to this report.