New Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Henry Melton has filed a counterclaim for relief of more than $1 million after he was sued by a Grapevine bar owner.
In the original suit, Donald K. Payne, the owner of Chill, alleged Melton told bartenders serving him "that he was a millionaire and the bartenders were nothing but poor white trash."
In Payne's account of the evening of Dec. 22, 2013, he was punched in the face by Melton after asking the NFL player to leave. After the punch, according to Payne, a bartender, door man and licensed peace officer physically removed Payne. At some point during the struggle, Payne said he was severely bitten by Melton.
The Grapevine police arrived and arrested Melton.
Saying he suffered personal injuries from the encounter, Payne sued Melton for pain and suffering, disfigurement, mental anguish and medical expenses.
Read the Lawsuits
Melton, a Grapevine resident who played for the Chicago Bears before signing with the Cowboys this spring, told a different story in his countersuit.
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Melton said he was in town recovering from knee surgery when he went out with some old friends. Melton said he went to the bar to order a drink and the bartender, identified in the countersuit as Christopher Kummer, "became disenfranchised with the amount Melton was tipping for the drinks he was purchasing for himself and others."
According to the suit, "Kummer stated $5 and $10 tips for each drink was not sufficient to compensate him for pouring a drink." The suit said the bartender became more and more agitated before telling Melton to "get the hell out of here."
Melton said three other men then appeared, spun him around and physically attacked him, putting him in a headlock. Melton's attorney said in the suit that video evidence corroborates their claim and that his client, who was only eight weeks removed from major knee surgery, "did not have the stability in his legs to fight off multiple attackers who were draped on his back, side and head."
In the suit, Melton said he was choked and that one of the attackers used a racial slur as he was restrained.
Melton's countersuit is asking for more than $1 million for damages, court costs, attorney fees, pre- and post-judgment interest and any other legal relief.