Former Chicago Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton agreed to a multi-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys on Tuesday to return to his home state of Texas. As it turns out, it also marks his return to an area where he's currently being sued for biting someone in the kidney.
Dallas-area bar owner Donald Payne has filed a lawsuit against the former Pro Bowler seeking over $1 million for a December altercation in which he alleges Melton left him with a "horrific bite" that broke the skin, according to WFAA Dallas.
We knew back in December that Melton had been arrested in the Dallas suburb of Grapevine, where he played high school football, but at the time, the generic police report description of "assault" left the specifics of the altercation up to the imagination.
The report by WFAA Dallas has filled in the alleged details. Payne, the owner of a restaurant and bar ironically named Chill, says that Melton became unruly after being asked to leave. Video surveillance shows a customer throwing punches as security guards attempt to drag him outside. Payne alleges Melton bit him in the lower back during the confrontation.
"When he was asked to leave, his belligerence and unruliness turned into violence," said Payne's attorney, Darren Wolf. "It took four men to do this because he's a big guy. And in the process, my client -- Mr. Payne -- received a really, really horrific bite from Mr. Melton. He bit him in the side, near the kidney, through the skin."
The attorney would have you believe the damage was more than physical.
"There's some psychological injury there," Wolf said. "The thought of another human being you don't know biting through your skin, piercing your skin... it's a pretty frightening experience. And it's dangerous."
Whatever the details are, Melton's mug shot from that night proves things got rough.
Melton was in Texas at the time because of an ACL tear that cost him all but the first three games of his final season in Chicago. The Cowboys were willing to overlook both the injury and the arrest to sign him, but built some protective stipulations into his potential four-year contract. According to Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports 1, Melton received a one-year deal with a club option for an additional three years that kicks in if Melton is on the roster on the first day of the 2015 league year.