View Full Version : Cedric Benson arrested
05-04-2008, 01:55 PM
AUSTIN, Texas — Bears running back Cedric Benson faces criminal charges of boating while intoxicated and resisting arrest.
Authorities say Benson was operating a 30-foot boat carrying about 15 passengers on Lake Travis on Saturday when he was stopped, then failed a field sobriety test. Officials say an officer had to use pepper spray to subdue Benson.
Travis County Sheriff's Department spokesman Roger Wade says Benson was freed from jail on a $14,500 bond Sunday morning.
The 25-year-old Benson was the Bears' first-round pick in 2005 after starring at the University of Texas.
I was hoping we'd still be able to get something out of him, but I'm done with Benson and his BS. Let's get Forte in there on opening day and try to forget that Cedric Benson was ever a member of the Chicago Bears.
05-07-2008, 05:43 PM
Friend sought help for Benson
Concerned for his safety with police, woman phones parents to call 911
By David Haugh | Tribune reporter
12:12 AM CDT, May 7, 2008
A female passenger on Cedric Benson's boat Saturday night in Austin, Texas, was concerned enough about his safety after police took him into custody to phone her parents and urge them to call 911, the Tribune has learned.
"I called my dad and told him, 'Call 911, my black friend is getting beaten up by police on Lake Travis,' " said Elizabeth Cartwright, 22, a friend of Benson's from the University of Texas. "It's more what I heard than what I saw. I have never heard or seen Cedric that scared."
Cartwright put in writing her version of the events on Lake Travis that resulted in Benson being charged with boating while intoxicated and resisting arrest.
She says she is willing to submit her document as evidence supporting his account. She said her fiance also took dozens of photographs that help corroborate her claims.
In a 45-minute phone interview, she explained that she chose to come forward because of concerns that Benson's reputation was being "tainted" by accounts of the incident.
Benson faces a May 19 court date on the misdemeanor charges but was informed Tuesday that his lawyer can represent him.
He was back Tuesday at Halas Hall for a two-hour visit and already has shared with friends, including Cartwright, his desire to file a lawsuit against Travis County authorities based on his treatment during the arrest.
"We're not asking to be treated better, but we don't want to be treated worse, either, because of who Cedric is," Benson's lawyer, Brian Carney, said Tuesday night.
Cartwright, an English major at the University of Texas who is to graduate later this month, estimated she and her fiance had been boating with Benson six times this spring and each time a Lower Colorado River Authority boat pulled them over for a safety check.
There were about 15 people on the boat, including Benson's mother, Jackie, who had spent much of the evening swimming in a part of the lake known as Devil's Cove. Just when the group had decided to head back to shore around 9:30 p.m. and go out to dinner, a patrol boat stopped to conduct a random check.
According to Cartwright, she had consumed one beer and Benson had two drinks.
"I know Cedric and I don't think he was drunk," Cartwright said.
The arrival of LCRA police perturbed Benson because of the frequency of the checks on his 30-foot boat, Cartwright said.
When Benson's boat passed the safety inspection, Cartwright said she and her fiance were surprised the officer then required a sobriety test for Benson.
"We were all like, 'Why?' " she said.
After an officer led Benson to the LCRA boat for the test, the second officer left behind on Benson's boat assured a nervous Jackie Benson that her son would be fine, Cartwright recalled.
A few minutes later, Cartwright said she heard Benson begin to scream after the officer pepper-sprayed him in the eye. By the time Benson was in handcuffs, he was screaming, "Please stop, Mom, make them please stop."
Cartwright disputed that Benson was resisting arrest.
Panicked, Cartwright called her father, Jeff, to give him a description of the physical way she saw her friend being treated and told him to call 911.
Unaware the friend in question was Benson, Jeff Cartwright called 911 and told the dispatcher that police "were beating up a black kid on Lake Travis."
A Travis County spokesman wouldn't confirm or deny Tuesday night that a 911 call had been placed regarding the incident. An affidavit the LCRA filed described Benson as cocky, smelling strongly of alcohol and needing to be removed forcibly from the boat and eventually falling to the ground.
Benson claimed police kicked his feet out from under him, causing him to fall awkwardly. When Benson got up, Cartwright remembers him sitting in a squad car surrounded by six officers.
"In the weakest voice, Cedric said to me and my fiance, 'Help me get out of here,' " Cartwright said. "He was so scared."
05-07-2008, 05:52 PM
I really think Benson did nothing wrong and this is a case of police abusing there power, they see a NFL star which they checked 8 times before on the same lake, and they want to bust his balls and abuse there power.
05-08-2008, 02:12 AM
Normally, I trust the police's side of the story. That's especially true when the person involved has a history of erratic behavior, including a home invasion and a drug possession charge. There's definitely a small minorty of officers who shouldn't be wearing badges, though. Now that someone has stepped up to support Benson's claims, it seems that I may have jumped the gun a bit in judging him. We'll just have to wait and see how this turns out.
05-08-2008, 03:55 PM
Another witness has come forward on behalf of Cedric Benson, saying he saw police "manhandling" the running back.
The witness was not on Benson's boat, but says he saw police taking Benson to their squad car. "As they were taking him up the dock, they stopped, he said, 'I am fine, I can continue walking,' and they put their legs behind his knees and knocked him over his knees and started hog-carrying him," Patch said. He continued: ""They ended up--I don't know why--but laid him on his back, I heard him say, 'Please don't pepper spray me, please don't pepper spray me... It was uncalled for, it was ludicrous, no point for it."
05-10-2008, 11:16 PM
Wow. Just.......wow. This is turning into an insanely awful story. That's 2 witnesses, one of whom wasn't on the boat and presumably has no reason to biased, who have come forward to back Benson's assertion that he was a victim of police mistreatment. It sounds to me like those jerkoff power-tripping cops have some serious explaining to do.
I feel bad for jumping the gun on this one. I'm starting to fully believe Benson's side of the story.
05-11-2008, 02:15 AM
There's always gonna be cops that see a black guy in his $1million dollar boat and decide its time to 'learn him a lesson'.
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