D'Qwell Jackson Found Guilty of Simple Assault on Pizza Delivery Driver

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent III

Indianapolis Colts linebacker D'Qwell Jackson was found guilty of simple assault on Monday for an altercation from February 2015 in which he allegedly punched a pizza delivery driver in Washington, D.C.

Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star reported on Monday's development. Holder added sentencing is scheduled for April 6 and that Jackson's offense is classified as a misdemeanor.

"We're disappointed to read reports of [Jackson's] misdemeanor verdict in Washington, D.C.," the Colts said in a statement, via Mike Wells of ESPN. "We've not had an opportunity to review any of the evidence or testimony from the trial and have not made any determination as to any action we might take as a result."

"I was surprised and disappointed by yesterday's verdict and we are planning to appeal," Jackson said in a statement on Tuesday, via Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star. "I sincerely believe justice will eventually prevail. Nevertheless, I sincerely regret that this case ever happened and has gotten to this point. I will continue to live my life in a way that confirms I am a good and honorable citizen."

Dianna Marie Russini of ESPN reported in January that the man Jackson assaulted, Jose Bonilla-Fuentes, was suing Jackson for $1.5 million, as Jackson had allegedly broken a bone in Bonilla-Fuentes' face.

"I apologize for adding another distraction for this team," said Jackson in April of the incident, per Holder. "I'm very fortunate to do what I do. I love what I do, and I'm passionate. When the time allows, the facts will come out, but at this point, I want to apologize to the community and my fans and all my supporters out there."

Jackson started all 16 games for the Colts this past season and racked up 150 combined tackles, three sacks, a forced fumble and an interception. The 32-year-old veteran was one of the few bright spots on a Colts team that finished 8-8 and whose defense ranked 25th in points allowed.

Having already lost starting inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman to the Chicago Bears in free agency on a three-year contract, Indianapolis' defense may be in even more trouble in 2016 depending on what happens with Jackson.

In light of the guilty verdict, Jackson may well face disciplinary action from the NFL. He hasn't had any notable off-field issues in the past, so the penalty may not be too severe.

Jackson was the recipient of an Ed Block Courage Award as a member of the Cleveland Browns in 2011. The accolade is given to players who are seen by their teammates to embody "professionalism, great strength and dedication" and are role models in the community, according to the award's official website.

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