MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Vikings great Carl Eller was convicted Monday of assault on a police officer and refusing to take a sobriety test.
The 67-year-old Eller was convicted of the two gross misdemeanors that arose from a clash with Minneapolis police officers in April. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 23.
“I am really disappointed in this decision and how I’ve been treated,” Eller said.
In a pending federal lawsuit, he claims officers violated his civil rights, used excessive force and concealed videotape evidence of his arrest.
Prosecutors earlier dropped two more serious felony charges against Eller because they said the evidence wasn’t strong enough to support them.
“I think this is an appropriate resolution to this matter,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said.
Eller was arrested April 9 by police who said they saw his Mercedes SUV swerve and speed through a stop sign. They gave chase and eventually attempted to arrest Eller in his garage, where they said he punched one officer and threw another one onto the hood of his SUV.
Eller was originally charged with fourth-degree assault and making terroristic threats, both felonies, and driving while impaired and refusing to take a chemical test for alcohol.
Eller spent 15 years (1964-78) as a defensive lineman with Minnesota. He completed his NFL career in 1979 as a memmber of the Seattle Seahawks.