Longtime local reporter Ralph Cipriano laid out the version of events that may allow LeSean McCoy to walk free, perhaps rightfully.

Cipriano – who was described to me by one Philly media vet as “plugged in, but prone to exaggeration– the Sal Pal of the courts ” – was on the WIP morning show today talking about his piece for Big Trial, a site which appears to be a terrific piece of content marketing for The Beasley Firm (not involved in the McCoy case, to the best of my knowledge), in which he paints the off-duty cops as the aggressors in the fight at Recess, raising numerous questions about their behavior that night.

Normally I’d blockquote a portion of this, but there’s so much here that it’s hard to choose what to focus on. The gist of Cipriano’s version of events, which sounds like it’s also probably McCoy’s version of events, is that the off-duty officers and McCoy’s group had been at another club earlier in the night, without confrontation or incident. There were two women involved who were with the off-duty officers earlier in the night, and then at McCoy’s table when the officers showed up to Recess later on (football players, man). The bottle of champagne in question, which led to the fight, may or may not have been sent to McCoy’s table by one of the cops for one of the women, who may have been celebrating a birthday. There was some confusion over whose bottle it was and a fight ensued, instigated by one of the off-duty officers, according to Cipriano’s reporting.

What’s more, and what’s worse for police and the DA, is the insinuation that at least two of the officers were drunk, drove themselves through a police barricade on the way to Recess by flashing their badges, and that after the fight one of them drove himself to a hospital in Upper Darby, perhaps in an attempt to sober up. Oh, and something about a gun:

As McCoy was being led away from the melee, he felt someone shove him. He turned around and saw Sgt. Ayres standing beside another man. Sgt. Ayres got shoved. Then, a witness saw Sgt. Ayres reach for his firearm, a black 9 mm pistol. The witness told McCoy that Sgt. Ayres was a cop, and pulled McCoy away.

On the police side of the story, the gun presents another problem. According to a directive from the police commissioner, off-duty officers are not supposed to carry guns inside bars. Sgt. Dan may have some explaining to do.

There’s A LOT of speculation here, but these are the sorts of actions McCoy’s lawyers will shine a bright light on if this goes to trial.

Read Cipriano’s full piece here.

Meanwhile, ESPN’s John Barr asked the fraternal order of police and officer Darnell Jessie’s attorney about these claims – that the officers started the fight – and, well, neither party denied it:

Voila_Capture 2016-02-22_01-02-30_PM Voila_Capture 2016-02-22_01-02-45_PM

So now, it seems, we have an alernate version of events – certainly much different than Hollis Thomas’ version –  which paints the off-duty officers in just the world light possible. And, thus, the lack of charges.

The John Barr report is after the jump.