Within the past hour, lawyer Sam Bassett said that Bengals running back Cedric Benson “looks forward to telling his side of the story” in connection with a May 30 incident that resulted in a June 29 arrest for assault with injury.
Now, Benson lawyer David Cornwell has issued a statement on Benson’s behalf.
“Late last month at a nightclub, Cedric Benson was asked to take pictures with some female fans,” Cornwell says. “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.”
That last paragraph strongly implies, if not outright admits, that Benson failed to alert the Bengals or the league office of the incident before being arrested. Even if Benson believed he was a victim on May 30, he knew as of two weeks ago that an employee of the club in question claimed that Benson had punched him. Yet Benson apparently didn’t tell the team or the league.
This specific wrinkle won’t make the situation any better for Benson; it can only make it worse.