Bates, 25, was booked at the 115th Precinct station house in the borough of Queens for allegedly not paying a $32 cab fare from Manhattan to the Hampton Inn in Queens, said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
At the precinct house, Bates was told that as long as there were no outstanding warrants, he would receive only a desk appearance ticket and be allowed to leave, Brown said. The prosecutor said Bates refused to be fingerprinted and became increasingly agitated and then punched a police sergeant in the face above the left eye.
Authorities said the officer received three stitches and suffered a concussion.
Police used a stun gun to subdue Bates.
Bates is facing a felony charge of assaulting a police officer as well as resisting arrest, theft of service and obstructing governmental administration
"We are aware of the arrest of Trevor Bates earlier today in New York," Lions general manager Bob Quinn said in a statement. "We have not spoken to Trevor as of yet and are still in the process of gathering more information. The Detroit Lions will have no further comment at this time."
A 6-foot-2, 247-pound backup linebacker, Bates was taken to Elmhurst Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation, authorities said.
Bates appeared in nine games this season with three tackles.
Bates is in his first season with the Lions.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.