Colorado's May ordered to pay $26K for punching cop

Updated: December 17, 2005, 6:09 PM ET
Associated Press

PHOENIX -- A Maricopa County civil jury ordered former Phoenix Coyote Brad May to pay a sheriff's sergeant $26,570 for punching him at a Scottsdale nightclub.

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Maricopa County Sgt. Rich Burden, 40, sued May over a 2002 incident at the Cat Eye Lounge in Scottsdale. His lawyer said he "basically got tired of the drunk professional athlete running amok."

According to Burden attorney Daniel Treon, May and some teammates were refused entry into the club by a bouncer and got in a confrontation with the bouncer and a manager. Burden and another deputy were in uniform and intervened.

That's when May punched Burden in the jaw, Treon said.

May was arrested and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and disorderly conduct charges.

May's attorney, John O'Neal, said the hockey player acted in self-defense when he was grabbed from the side in a dark parking lot by Burden. He said May simply raised his arms, didn't intentionally hit Burden and is considering an appeal.

"If Mr. May wanted to hit this man, he would've been hurt much worse," O'Neal said.

Burden had only minor neck pain that was treated by a chiropractor. He had asked for $150,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.

May played for the Coyotes from 2000 to 2003 and now plays for the Colorado Avalanche.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press