Ex-Saints receiver Michael Thomas entering diversion in case stemming from arrest last fall

KENNER, La. (AP) — Former New Orleans Saints receiver Michael Thomas has been accepted into a pretrial diversion program that could help him avoid trial in a case stemming from his arrest last fall, a city official said Wednesday.

“This does not constitute dismissal in any way,” Kenner spokeswoman Valerie Brolin said. “Once all matters and requirements are satisfied, the case can be closed, but it is not dismissed.”

Thomas has been facing simple battery and criminal mischief charges following a confrontation with a construction worker near his home on Nov. 10.

The construction worker told police that Thomas began yelling at him about parking in front of his home and “verbally threatened to harm him.”

Thomas then picked up a brick and threw it at the window of a truck, but caused “little if any” damage, the worker told police. Thomas then knocked the victim’s phone from his hand, shoved him and told him he did not want to be recorded, police said.

In Kenner, pretrial diversion is essentially a six-month probationary period for first offenders, Brolin said. In addition to avoiding subsequent arrests while in the program, defendants also may be required to take classes, receive treatment and pay fines, she said.

When the program is completed, the case is closed and charges no longer appear in the defendant's record, Brolin said.

Thomas, 31, was an All-Pro in 2018 and 2019 but has struggled with injuries ever since, playing in just 20 games combined during the past four seasons.

In 2019, Thomas set an NFL record for catches in a season with 149. This past season was Thomas' last under contract with New Orleans. He has yet to sign with another team.


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