Expect to see puffs of white smoke today emanating from the district attorney's office.
According to multiple sources, after nine weeks of investigating a ten-minute bar fight, the prosecutors, detectives and politicians in the D.A.'s office, have finally reached a consensus. According to multiple sources, the district attorney will call a press conference this afternoon to announce that NFL star running back LeSean "Shady" McCoy and his buddies will not face any criminal charges as a result of a Feb. 7th brawl at the Recess Lounge.
In February, both the mayor and the president of the Fraternal Order of Police, after seeing a 30-second cell pone video posted on TMZ Sports, had called for McCoy to be arrested for the brawl that resulted in serious injuries to two off-duty police officers.
But after nine weeks of investigation, the district attorney's office has concluded that because there's such a cacophony of versions of what happened inside the Recess Lounge, no single account can be discerned, much less proven. So no successful prosecution can be brought
From the outset, the D.A's investigation has been hampered because the off-duty officers involved in the fracas supposedly had been drinking, not only at the Recess Lounge, according to witnesses, but also at another Old City bar earlier in the evening. There was also a witness report that one of the off-duty cops at the bar was packing a gun, in violation of department policy.
The district attorney's decision is good news for Shady McCoy because it means he won't have to forfeit any money from the $40 million contract that he signed last year with the Buffalo Bills, after he was traded from the Eagles.
If McCoy had been suspended for even one game, according to sources, he would have risked losing all of the guaranteed money in his new contract, said to be at least $18 million.
It was only four days after the brawl at the Recess Lounge that Mayor Jim Kenney pronounced McCoy guilty.
"If McCoy wants to stomp our officers and pound our officers, then he needs to pay the price and answer for his actions," Kenney told CBS Eyewitness News. "In addition to punches being thrown, there were some kicks that looked as if they were being leveled and that's unconscionable and it's cowardly."
Just 12 days after the incident, John McNesby, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, went on the WIP morning show to announce that the district attorney's investigation should have been over by then.
"It was an all-out beat down," McNesby told Cataldi. "It was a sucker punch to the one officer by LeSean McCoy over a bottle of champagne, and it was an all-out beat down . . . This wasn't just an assault, it was an aggravated assault."
But nine weeks later, everybody's expected to walk.
The problem with the cops's side of the case is that the off-duty officers didn't exactly behave like the victims of an unfair assault.
According to witnesses, the brawl was allegedly started by Officer Roland Butler, who supposedly swiped a $350 bottle of pink champagne off McCoy's table. Then, when McCoy's friends protested, Officer Butler, at 6-foot-4 and at least 250-pounds, allegedly grabbed one of Shady's pals -- Tamarcus Porter, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound former Pitt running back -- by the neck and body-slammed him to the ground.
During the brawl, a witness saw one of the off-duty cops, Sgt. Daniel Ayres, reach for a black 9 mm pistol in a holster on his right hip. "Shady, he's a cop," the witness told McCoy.
The Philadelphia police commissioner has a directive that says off-duty cops aren't allowed to carry guns into bars. There's also the question of whether the other two off-duty cops were carrying guns in a club where cop patrons routinely aren't frisked.
The officers again broke protocol when they didn't call 911 after the fight, which is what they're supposed to do when they're involved in an off-duty incident.
Instead, Officer Butler fled the scene on his way to seeking treatment at Delaware County Memorial Hospital in Upper Darby, where he was treated for a laceration to his right eye, a broken nose, broken ribs and a sprained thumb.
The other off-duty cop injured in the brawl, Officer Darnell Jessie was admitted to Hahnemann University Hospital where he received eight stitches over his left eye and treatment for a possible skull fracture. The third off-duty cop at the Recess Lounge, Sgt. Ayers, was uninjured but filed a police report two days after the altercation.
McCoy was seen during the video apparently taking a swing. His story is that he was attempting to get Butler off of his buddy. If he threw a punch, he whiffed. Then, a woman dragged him away from the melee. Photographs taken of McCoy's hands right after the battle showed he didn't have bruises or any other sign of injury.
"I'm telling you that McCoy did nothing wrong, nothing wrong," McCoy's lawyer, Dennis Cogan, told the Buffalo News in February. "And he was sober. The questions will have to be asked about the conditions of the other people."
As for Officer Butler, at 4 a.m. Feb. 7th, hours after the fracas, he posted comments on his Facebook page that said that the guys who attacked him "can't hide behind Shady." Some 96 comments were posted on Butler's page. The next day, Officer Butler admitted to witnesses that he was drunk at the time of the altercation. He said he was going to see a civil lawyer. Subsequently, Butler's Facebook page was taken down.
For the D.A.'s office, it all added up to one big headache with the cops having more problems than Shady. The result is the announcement from the D.A.'s office expected today that everybody walks.
A spokesperson for the district attorney's office did not respond to a request for comment, but other media outlets are reporting a press conference is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. at the D.A.'s office.
After popping off about McCoy, Mayor Kenney has been silent on the subject. His spokesperson last month did not respond month to a request for comment. Neither did FOP President McNesby, who went on the WIP Morning Show a second time, but changed his tune.
If the cops are at fault, McNesby told Cataldi, why not just say it?
Today, down at the district attorney's office, according to multiple sources, they'll finally get around to doing just that by holding the usual dog-and-pony show at an official district attorney press conference.
And when they do, maybe even The Philadelphia Inquirer, our Pulitzer Prize winning paper of record, will get the story.