Barry Covert Provides Analysis for WGRZ on Chad Kelly’s Bar-Fight Arrest

WGRZ-TV asked Barry Covert, a nationally respected Buffalo criminal defense attorney, about 20-year-old Chad Kelly’s arrest outside a Buffalo bar. Mr. Kelly, who recently signed on with the University of Mississippi as quarterback and is the nephew of Buffalo Bill’s Hall-of-Famer Jim Kelly, was charged with assault, criminal mischief, harassment, and other crimes after a fight with bouncers. Mr. Kelly is alleged to have threatened to “get my AK-47 and spray this place,” a charge denied by his attorney. He was arraigned in Buffalo City Court and released without bail.

Click here for the interview.

Video seems to show bouncers as the aggressors

A video of the fight, which allegedly occurred after bouncers tried to remove Mr. Kelly from the nightclub Encore, was posted on the sports website Deadspin.

Asked his opinion of the video, Mr. Covert said, “It appears that Chad Kelly and his friend were trying to speak with the bouncers, presumably to get back into the bar, but really, from that one view of the videotape, it looks like they were not the aggressors. The bouncers were first to start pushing away on Chad Kelley, and then there is a bit of an altercation, pushing and shoving, and then the bouncers appear to be throwing haymakers.”

“It looks like he is looking at misdemeanor violation-level charges,” Mr. Covert said. “Misdemeanors mean that there is a maximum of one year incarceration, but the prosecution would have to prove that beyond a reasonable doubt, and from what I have seen on that videotape, at least at the scene of the bar, it doesn’t appear that he was the aggressor. Now what happened later when the police pulled him over, we haven’t seen any videotape or proof of that.”

What happened before and after the video?

“This is just a 30-second videotape,” Mr. Covert noted. “We don’t know what occurred before, we don’t know what occurred after, and, most importantly, we don’t know what happened when he interacted with the police. They claim that he was resisting arrest and fighting with the police, and that will make it very difficult if that was in fact the case.”

Mr. Covert added, “When I saw that videotape, it was not what was described in the news accounts.”

Mr. Covert aggressively represents clients in the areas of New York State and federal criminal trials and appeals; constitutional law, including First Amendment, civil rights actions, and federal False Claims Act; defending against allegations of scientific misconduct and fraud, research misconduct and fraud, plagiarism, and fabrication of evidence; and professional licensing defense.