When former All-Pro NFL running back Chris Johnson decided to sign autographs at a minor league baseball game in Florida on Saturday, he probably thought the worst thing he would have to deal with would be unruly or over-enthusiastic fans.
As it turns out, the fans should have been the least of his concerns.
In the middle of his autograph session, Johnson was served with an assault and battery civil lawsuit, per TMZ.
A process server apparently waited in line, then put the serving papers right in front of Johnson.
He nearly signed them before realizing what was really going on.
The suit stems from an April incident in which Johnson allegedly attacked a nightclub valet. The valet, Matthew McNeel, claims he was injured after Johnson choked and punched him.
According to court documents, Johnson “became angry at the businesses valet” and “intentionally touched and struck the victim” by “placing him in a choke hold and punching him in the face causing minor injuries,” TMZ reported.
The alleged victim is seeking damages — at least $15,000 — as he says he has lost work and has medical bills to pay.
In addition to the civil suit, Johnson pleaded not guilty last week to misdemeanor battery, according to WFTS.
A police report said the incident was captured on surveillance cameras.
Johnson was identified by both the alleged victim and the owner of the nightclub.
If convicted, he could face up to a year in prison.
The 32-year-old running back has played in just eight total games over the past two years, though he told ESPN in March that he does not want to retire.
Johnson is a three-time Pro Bowler who rushed for at least 1,000 yards in each of his first six seasons in the NFL.
His best season came in 2009, when he rushed for 2,006 yards and 14 touchdowns, earning him the nickname “CJ2K.”
For his career, Johnson has rushed for 9,651 yards and 55 touchdowns.
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