Former University of Texas football player Cedric Benson was arrested and charged with assault with injury early today after an incident last month at Annie’s West at 706 West Sixth Street, where officials said he punched a bar employee in the face.
The 27-year-old current running back for the Cincinnati Bengals had been involved in an altercation at the establishment and was being escorted out when he punched an employee, according to an arrest affidavit.
The affidavit said the May 30 incident began at 1:50 a.m. when a fight began between Benson and an unknown person inside the bar. Club staff separated them, at which time Benson shoved a manager “in an attempt to continue the fight he was previously engaged in,” the affidavit said.
The affidavit said Benson spit blood from his injured lip at a bar employee.
Workers then asked Benson several times to leave.
“Benson refused, and was escorted out of the bar,” the affidavit said.
Outside, the affidavit said employees tried to prevent him from going back in. At that point, he punched “with his right fist to the left side” of an employee’s face, causing the employee to stumble backwards.
Reached on his cell phone, Benson asked the American-Statesman to call him later today.
Benson has posted bail and has been released from the Travis County Jail, according to jail records and officials.
He faces up to a year in jail if convicted of the Class A misdemeanor.
Benson started four years at running back for the University of Texas, from 2001 to 2004, after leading Midland Lee High School to three state championships.
The Chicago Bears drafted him with the fourth selection of the 2005 NFL draft. He was released in 2008. He signed a one-year contract that season with the Cincinnati Bengals and signed a two-year, $7-million contract with the team in 2009. In 2008, Benson was arrested for two alcohol-related incidents, but a Travis County grand jury declined to indict him and charges were dropped.
The most amazing part of this whole thing is that Benson was able to keep this under wraps for almost a month. Oh and in case you're wondering, this is Benson's fifth arrest in his lifetime (third since he's been in the NFL), which means he is slowly creeping into Pacman Jones territory (six arrests). And if the Cincinnati Police Department has any officers working the undercover cocaine beat, Matt Jones will probably be facing his third arrest by mid-July.