Bengals Star RB Cedric Benson Arrested
The Cincinnati Bengals may have a problem on their hands. The history of the Bengals run in with the law is alive again. Star running back Cedric Benson has been arrested and is being charged with assault.
Benson was taken into custody at the Travis County Jail but later posted bail for $5000. If convicted, he may be looking at a $4000 fine and up to a year in prison.
The Austin Police's report states that on May 30, Benson was in the Sixth Street Entertainment district inside Annie's West Bar. Benson then got into an argument with a bartender. This led to a physical altercation and Benson left the bar patron with a cut lip and the man spitting out blood. Witnesses told police that following this incident, the staff intervened, and Benson was verbally abusive towards them. He apparently also shoved another worker before the football star was escorted out.
“As they took him outside, he continued to push and shove,” said Senior Police Officer Veneza Aguinaga.
Bartender Bryan White informed police that once he was outside, Benson was complaining to bystanders that “all these white boys are ganging up on me and kicking me out.”
White also stated that Benson punched him in the face when he told Benson that he wouldn't take time out of his night to kick him out.
Sam Bassett, one of Benson's attorneys, claims his client "looks forward to telling his side of the story at the appropriate time."
"Though he does not entirely agree with the version of facts recited in the court filings," Bassett said, "he does not wish to make his comments public at this time."
"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," he said. "The Austin Police Department decided to go forward with obtaining a warrant without obtaining Mr. Benson's side of the story."
Another of Benson’s attorneys, David Cornwell, says that Benson has discussed the situation with the Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis and explained his client's side of the story: “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.”
Aguinaga stated that police interviewed witnesses and have video surveillance of the incident. She also said that Benson was scheduled to meet with detectives last week but never showed up for the meeting.
As a result of this, police obtained a warrant for Benson's arrest and arrested him Tuesday morning.
Bengals spokesman P.J. Combs said the team was aware of the incident but said it was "inappropriate for us to comment until the matter is resolved through legal channels."
It is highly likely that the running back (RB) will serve a suspension from the NFL. Commissioner Roger Goodell has established a zero tolerance policy for violating the Personal Conduct Policy and Benson's season may very well be shortened.
The league will study the situation but are not commenting on it at this time.
This is not Benson's first altercation with the law. Two years ago, Benson was arrested twice on alcohol charges, which were dropped. Furthermore, in his college days, the RB was also arrested for breaking into an apartment. He claimed it was to retrieve a television that had been stolen from him.
The RB was drafted by the Chicago Bears in 2005, but was released three years later due to inconsistent play and his legal troubles. The Cincinnati Bengals then signed him, and in 2009, he had a breakout year when he gained 1,251 yards and scored six touchdowns.
Benson may have jeopardized his season. It is a shame considering that he appeared to be coming into form and establishing himself around the league. What will the Bengals do now considering Benson may be suspended for a good part of the season? We’ll just have to wait and see what happens as the story unfolds.