The University of Texas has long been known for farming out superior athletes on the football field, but recent transgressions have shown the university can also produce some pretty aggressive fighters.
Former UT football star and current NFL running back Cedric Benson was arrested June 29, and was charged with misdemeanor assault for allegedly striking a bar employee in the face in Texas last month, Austin police say.
According to reports, Benson was released from Travis County Jail the same day after posting a $ 5,000 bail. He can face up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine if convicted.
Benson’s assault charge comes just weeks after fellow Texas University alum Vince Young was cited with an assault charge for a scuffle with an employee in a Dallas strip club.
But unlike Young, Benson not only got into it with an employee, but also fought with another patron at Annie’s West bar in the Sixth Street entertainment district on May 30. According to Austin police, the scuffle with the unknown patron left Benson with a bloody lip. When the bar staff attempted to break up the fight, police says Benson allegedly pushed and cursed at an employee before being escorted to the exit.
Once outside of the bar, police say Benson continued to shove off employees and shouted to people passing by that “all these White boys are ganging up on me and kicking me out.” A bartender of Annie’s West claims Benson then punched him in the face.
But The Associated Press reports that Benson’s attorney says all sides of the story have not been told yet.
“Though he does not entirely agree with the version of facts recited in the court filings, does not wish to make his comments public at this time,” attorney Sam Bassett told the AP.
“Mr. Benson has always been willing to cooperate with the Austin Police Department to tell his version of what happened so long as he could have a lawyer present. The Austin Police Department decided to go forward with obtaining a warrant without obtaining Mr. Benson’s side of the story.”
But David Cornwell, another attorney hired by Benson, released a statement to the media explaining his client’s side of the controversial incident. The statement released by Cornwell, who also represented Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger during his sexual assault case, can be read in full detail below:
“Late last month at a nightclub, Cedric Benson was asked to take pictures with some female fans.?
A man approached Cedric and objected to him posing for pictures with the women. Cedric explained that he had been asked to pose with the women and the man punched Cedric.
?An altercation followed and while Cedric was leaving the club, he was approached by another man aggressively.?
Believing this man was a friend of the man who had punched him, Cedric attempted to protect himself and continued out of the club.?
Immediately upon leaving the club, Cedric called the police. He was interviewed by the police and left the area.?
Two weeks ago while he was in Cincinnati, Cedric was contacted by a detective investigating the incident in Texas.?
Apparently, the second man who approached Cedric is an employee of the night club and claimed that Cedric punched him.?
Cedric agreed to be interviewed upon his return to Texas and provided his return date. Cedric was not contacted by the detective upon his return.?
This morning Cedric received a telephone call advising him that a warrant had been issued for his arrest.?
Cedric voluntarily made himself available, was taken into custody, and was released earlier today after posting bond.?
Upon his release, Cedric contacted Coach Marvin Lewis and the Commissioner’s office to notify the Cincinnati Bengals and the NFL of these events.?
Though we adamantly dispute that Cedric committed a crime, Cedric will continue to cooperate with law enforcement, the Bengals and the NFL in their investigation of these events.”?
Benson, a former first round draft pick by the Chicago Bears, currently starts at tailback for the Cincinnati Bengals. He had a career-best season in 2009 with 1,251 yards, despite playing only 13 games during the years. The incident at the bar in Texas was the second time he was arrested and charged in two years. Benson was charged in 2008 for allegedly operating a boat while intoxicated and resisting arrest.