Chicago Sun-Times

Benson proclaims innocence, vows to "rise to the occasion"

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Just got off the horn with Cedric Benson about 45 minutes ago.

He was emphatic that he was not drunk and did not resist arrest after officers from the Lower Colorado River Authority stopped his boat for a routine safety check just after 9 p.m. Saturday on Lake Travis, near Austin, Texas.

``I was not intoxicated,’’ Benson said. ``There was alcohol on the boat and others were enjoying themselves but I wasn’t drunk. It’s not like my boat was over the passenger limit or anything, either. It’s a 37-foot boat. Every time I go out there I get pulled over.’’

Benson said he was on the water in early April before the club’s voluntary offseason program began, and he was stopped then for a routine safety check. Asked if he had any idea why he’s seemingly targeted, he replied, ``I do.’’ He explained he’s a high-profile person in the area.

Benson boarded the LCRA boat and they put him through a battery of tests. According to Benson, he was cooperative the entire time and passed every test administered.

``You can’t give a sobriety test on boats because they’re in motion, they’re in the water and they’re rocking,’’ he said. ``I was on their boat and I still passed every test they gave me.’’

His account of events is vastly different than the one portrayed earlier in the day in a report by the LCRA. They assert Benson became a threat and had to be pepper sprayed. He said he remained cooperative, even after being subdued with pepper spray. He said once he reached shore he was tripped, had his face slammed into the ground and was choked with a hose being continuously run in his face. Benson said he declined to take a breath test once in custody at the advice of his attorney, Brian Carney.

He acknowledged the timing of the incident is not good in the wake of his rehabilitation from a broken leg. The franchise has said he might not be the answer at running back, and backed up those words by drafting Tulane’s Matt Forte in the second round. Benson is anxious to get back to work, saying he’s in the best shape of his professional career. He’s planning to return for voluntary offseason workouts on Tuesday after tending to matters Monday.

``I’m going to rise to the occasion like always,’’ he said.

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39 Comments

Ced if you was innocent why didn't ya blow? It would have proven you were not drunk right? Right? Then again maybe you was stoned and not drunk but intoxicated and uh, stupid? Way to go. Next time take Urlacher out on your boat ride. Maybe he can impregnate someone.

Big Fan

Brad that's pretty cool and all how you got this update. I mean, yes, it's your job and all as a reporter, but still it's pretty cool.

Well, Benson's story is quite different from the police's. My first thought when hearing his side of the story sprung racial implications; being police in the South and doing things such as this: "face slammed into the ground and was choked with a hose being continuously run in his face" to an African-American.

Those are some strong allegations. This is going to be an interesting story to follow, and no one should pass judgment on either side, police or Benson, without learning more of the details.

Though it's good to hear Ced is eager to get back to work on Tuesday, I'm pretty sure we can all expect a major media circus on that day if he is there.

Mike I know you like Benson and all but this isn't tv. Cops are not out to get people and usually Cops avoid rich people because they don't want to get involved in a mess like this. They also don't usually pepper guys in front of 15 wittnesses for no reason, especially when people have camera phones and film it.

Just answer one question for me, why not just blow, I have had to do it. Not a big deal.

You would think from the amount of abuse he is claiming there would be a video on a phone someplace. Didn't Vick claim he was innocent until the very end. My guess is Benson will say the same thing until it goes to court and he is convicted.

How can he say he was coperative and then say he refused to blow, which is it? Then of course the evil police abused him and water boarded him. Pf cpurse thats what all cops do to guys on there big giant boats who have lots of money and who Benson himself says he knows. He says he gets stopped all the time but only lists one other time. I hope he realizes that he has opened hiself up to a lawsuit for Defamation. If what he is saying is true then the police abused and tortured him. The ywill go to jail if he can prove this. If he can't then he is in a lot of trouble for public defamation. But I am sure there is a cell phone someplace on a boat that someone could have recorded this. You know those police boats have cameras too, just like the cars do and they record all stops.Doesn't seem very smart for the police to lie when you have a ton of wittnesses and camera phones and camera's on the patrol boat recording everything. Maybe he is just mis-remembering.

Ok here. I am not a Benson fan. While it is true that I thought the Bears made a terrific pick out of Texas in round 1 a couple of years ago, I am disappointed in his performance as well. 1 thing though. Is he not supposed to be PRESUMED INNOCENT BEFORE THE PROOF OF GUILT IS ESTABLISHED??? So, I guess what I am saying is, all of you flipping idiots out there, who want to destroy a man for allegations should shut the flock up and let him go through the legal process.

Why don't you guys give him a chance. He didn't have a good year last year got it. I don't agree with how he conducts himself, but maybe he will mature. Futhermore if we can give Rex a 2nd, 3rd and 4th shot, we can give CED one too. GO BEARS

People!
I have been in that situation before, the officer wanted me to do stupid human tricks and I refused - he was off duty and trying to impress his girlfriend in his car, I adamantly refused and told him I would go to the Hoosegow and blow and show him up. The Officer was PO'd!! I was lucky there was only one or I would have been roughed up as well.
Moral: The Police are not always innocent in these situations.
He is freakin innocent untill proven guilty in a court of law people. Last I checked we still live in America not Russia. and sometimes (alot lately) they are innocent even though sent to prison for 15 years. (DNA.
I SURE WOULD NOT WANT ANY OF YOU ON MY JURY!!

I didn't do stupid Human Tricks or Blow because I knew he was trying to embarrasse me in front of his girlfriend, I wanted him to take me to Jail so I could test false and sue his silly a@@.
Now my Neighbor is a Police Officer and I respect him and the police very much but they are human and some will do some stupid stuff as well.
So hold off judgement on Ced or just like the Duke boys accusers you will be in the neck tie party with no neck to tie.

I ask if tomorrow would be too soon to say adios to "Cedric The Pretender"? The good bye should have been said by The Bears after Game 16 of 2007!

Why do we have to continue to accept and tolerate these types of people in professional sports? We can't act this way and expect to keep our jobs in the real world! Are the things we do as important or more important then running a football? When is enough, enough? I blog in other papers and online and find so few people that have the guts to say something about reality vs "protected entities." You know it's not a case of race or gender, it's a case of stupidity and stupid people that continue to make excuses wether to keep the entities job or their own, but when it comes to people in the real world doing the same things, their butts are out in the street.

Why double standards and mixed messages?

Why shold we give him a second chance? At least Tank Johnson manned up to his charges. The guy's a punk bottom line. I like how he said he will "rise to the occassion again", I am still waiting for the 1st occassion for him to rise to. Stop defending this guy, he is a waste of fresh air. Oh, you're right, we have given Rex quite a few tries, but as I can remember, you dont see him out partying and getting caught with drugs in the past. At least he shows up coherent to football games.

Kinda interesting Brian Carney the attorney told him to refuse a breathalyzer test. Not only was Benson admitting his guilt , but his attonrey also knowingly knew Benson would not pass.

Like I and Biggs has posted no matter drunk or sober if the law enforcement thinks or smells that there has been any controling substance induced they can and most of the time will request either a breathalyzer test or going as far to do a chemical test.

While its not going to help his case by not taking a breathalyzer test, It also leaves an opertuninty for Benson to denie it.
Benson and his attorneys thinking is if it wasnt proven then He wasnt drunk.

Come on now Benson I seen that Picture, It was on the news, Hell for a guy that got peppered sprayed, Beat with a hose, and dragged to the car, you sure had a smile on your face. Eyes were bloodshot and couldnt even hold his head up straight.

Benson says he is going to rise to the occasion, "like always"??? That is an interesting comnment considering I haven't seen him "rise to the occasion" much over the last three years, despite numerous opportunities to do so. We will see how this plays out, but if it comes out that he WAS intoxicated (or stoned) and he DID resist arrest, the NFL will probably suspend him for a while and personally, I think the Bears should cut their losses and let him go. I also think Benson is a divisive element in the locker room and is bad for team chemistry. Letting him go may have a positive influence on the team. If he is proven innocent, maybe it will be a wake up call to take life, playing for the Bears and his NFL career more seriously. But, no matter what I may personally think of Benson, he is innocent until proven guilty and should be treated that way....

Maybe it's because I'm a Justice Studies major, or because it's quite clear on that picture. HE WAS NOT SOBRE! If anybody, including Lovie believes he deserves a second, or in my view, due to the guys history, a third shot then there are surely some delusions experienced here. Examples need to be set in a business where it seems at this day and time the employees (players) are in charge. This is rediculous and needs to end. Release the man. He's a nuisance and quite frankly a useless item on a grocery list that the organization thought was going to be healthy but in the end led to an illness.

Everyone needs to leave him alone! He was too drunk to remember what happened.

Creighton says "Cops are not out to get people."

Creighton, what planet are you living on?

Did you happen to catch 60 Minutes last night? They had an entire segment about innnocent people in TEXAS who were sent to jail by an unjust legal system. Most of the ones sent to jail were black (big surprise there). Just for a frame of reference, I'm a thirty-eight year old, college educated, white collar job, white guy who drives a Camry. I'm a conservatice politcally, and I used to think cops were pretty good guys, but the truth is, in a situation like the one described by Benson, they are on a power trip against a black guy who has a lot more money than they ever will. In this type of situation, if you do everything they say to do, and do the "Yes officer, no officer" thing for long enough then maybe you'll be okay. But if you're really not drunk, and you say to them, "Hey, I'm not drunk, I did your tests and I'm not drunk, I'm minding my own business, so please go away" well, then all hell breaks loose just like it did for Benson. And as soon as the first cop says, "this guy was resisting arrest" then all the other cops show up and pile on, because they know they can.

"Mike I know you like Benson and all..."
Creighton, there are different "Mikes" that post on this blog. I think you read a couple of posts before by a Mike but those aren't mine. All I'm saying is to be fair with this situation until the facts are out. Personally I've never had a DUI and believe people who do commit such a crime should be punished to the full extent of the law b/c of the danger involved. Creighton you raised a good point w/ Mike Vick's denials, and I was thinking the same thing of how he denied it 'till the end. I don't have a bias against police officers, I understand what they go through on a day to day basis, but not all are perfect.
We'll just have to wait and see with this though. It's not like Briggs leaving the state w/o permission, that's pretty clear cut.

Btw, I'm the Mike who is unable to comprehend anything Jerseyboy posts.

I have heard other comments in other contexts about Texas policemen and suspect there well might have been a race factor at work in this instance. Even so, refusing a breathalizer test is not too bright if in fact you are sober. Were the arresting officers Caucasians? Does the Lake Patrol have any minority group officers? Morte information is needed before we go off half-cocked one way or another in this issue. I'm not a Benson fan, and have been a bit turned off in the past by his arrogance and
work ethic, not to mention his lack of performance, but i still think he should be given a chance to prove his innocence and ability.

So he says he always gets pulled over while he takes his boat out. If that's the case, why would he not cooperate? And if he did, why would someone, of all things, pepperspray him? Whether he was sober or not, he was stupid.

Whether or not he's guilty, there's been plenty of fans wanting him out. I'm assuming that his arrest will warrant some suspension from Goodell or the team. Angelo has made comments about Benson being a bust. We all know it's a matter of time before he's let go.

Makes you wish we tried picking up a free agent running back before the draft, huh? We're going to see a whole new offense this year, but I'm not sure if it's for the better.

If truley he is getting harrased or always pulled over then why go back. To me he was in time asking for trouble.

Bears need offense.

Stop acting as if common citizens are held to higher standards. They aren't.

Assuming that everything went down in the manner the cops suggested, the end result will likely be a fine, loss of license and probation, since Benson has no major priors.

You want him fired. But a normal person's wouldn't lose his or her job unless they needed to drive as part of their responsibilites, and that includes teachers in many school districts.

I done condone his behavior, but lets not act like this was something horrible that doesn't happen to a lot of good people on daily basis.

You cut him because he has underpeformed. Don't try and use this as some excuse.

I clearly remember all the Marches/Tirades/Neck Ties against the Duke Boys - What happened to any apoligies afterwards? Too humiliated to speak up?
Where were the marches for Justice then?
I mean !@# Marches!! and the boys were innocent!
Get a Grip people - Innocent untill proven guilty in a court of law.
I'm not saying he's tellin the truth or lyin, I'm sayin we don't know yet.
*If he's lyin - it will surely be alot worse than if he fessed up. (he's gone)
*If he's tellin the truth I hope it comes out so Texas can reform their Police.
But we don't know yet.

If it walks, quacks and swims like a duck it is a duck!! And particularly if it runs like a duck, it is a duck. Remember when Peter cried wolf one too many times, Peter did ont make it. Many times history does reflect character and history is not on Benson's side. He is not guilty yet but I would not put my pay check on the line in favor of his innocense.

SOLDIER BOY
how is that the same ?
Rex didn't get in trouble with the law

Brando, "he was asking for trouble" by going back to the lake. Why can't he go back to lake. This is America, he can go where ever he wants. I mean, is every person who got a speeding ticket not allowed to use roads anymore. Moron.

Benson doesn't come across as a lier. In fact, I think he's honest to a fault sometimes when speaking his mind. I believe him.

how do you pull someone over in a boat anyway? you can't really be making motions that are THAT crazy. i mean the boat is 37 feet long.

from what i understand from people i know who go boating - when they go out there, they get drunk, cook up some food and maybe do a little fishing. that's probably representative of 90% of the boating population (using gorilla math)

so if ced got a BWI, there had to have been a few others that day right? i wonder how many BWIs the "colorado river authority" have given out in the last month down there.

Wade hear me out, If Benson thinks he was getting harrassed He new a situation might occur. Then he gos on to the lake after a situation did occur by his statements it was a few times, and then Benson proceeds to get drunk. He is the Skipper of the Boat he should have been sobor. Sobor great TooL song.

I know if Im getting check out for the proper saftey equiment every time or have been docked over for being loud, I would have just found another lake to do my anticks.

Time will tell if this was the first time Benson was being a nusence on that lake.

Well he said he'll rise to the occasion and he's in great shape so with a revamped OL, let's see what happens.

this wouldn't be an issue if benson were a 1500 yards a year back. the real issue is, has benson been a worth while investment. nope. the chicago bears are 1st and foremost a business. stars like lance briggs have some leeway, benson one the other hand hasn't done much for the bears. his salary is deadweight. whether his story is right or wrong it doesn't matter, the whole situation reflects poorly on the bears. if he wasn't getting paid as much as he is he'd be gone. if it was 3rd stringer they'd be gone. i'm serious about what roger goodell will do about all of it. pac-man was pretty good and look what happened to him. benson might be screwed.

Sahrish, your absolutely right Rex did not get into to any trouble with the law, but he has proven time and time again that he is a terrible QB, but they gave him 3 mil to comeback.

I'll wait on more info but my questions is:

Has Benson ever risen to the occasion? This would be a first.

Grossman was the best fit QB for the Bears , that was on the open market.

For all the Benson basher's no running back could get thru that miserable offensive line that the Bears had last season. He and Rex was tackled, touched, and sacked the minute the ball was snapped. Trade him to the Miami behind that new guy and see how many yards he gains.

i think billy volek was on the market, chris simms has been on the trading block for awhile. honestly any qb is better than grossman. week 8 2006 was grossman's last game where he was on. after maimi exposed him it's been all down hill for him. best case he didn't lose the game for them and the usual case he lost the game for the bears. it's been about 16 or 17 games since that week 8 06 game against the 49er's. he's been exposed and he's pretty much worthless now. so the bears pay him 3mil to suck it up again. the bears can't admit mistakes with 1st round picks, atleast not benson or grossman. I'll be honest i've never like grossman but I did want benson to be the back that he might have been able to be. they both suck, lets face it. the best thing for the bears to do would be to cut benson and pay his salary over the next two years. i'm sure they'll get more value out of him when he's off the team.
too bad they couldn't trade him

SOLDIER BOY
I still disagree
you cant really compare Rex and Ced
and I don't think Rex is a bad QB and I agree with Brando
he was the best option and you really have to look at the situation he has played under
but still thats not saying I think we should cut Ced because of what happended on the boat ...I think his preformance on the field is enough

Get over yourselves please. The police won't sue for defamation of character. All the people who come out and say that cops aren't good don't get sued because the cops have to prove that everyone thinks that they are. And if there is a video anywhere you would have seen it by now. People don't wait to show those things it's usually out there the very next day. And the cops didn't show the tapes themselves that they might've had. It's funny how so many people get their minds make up with all the he-said/she said things that go with these incidents. All I know is that with all the shootings that police manage in our city they always get off. Even like in New York when an unarmed man was killed hours before he was about to be married. No one cares or have an opinion about questioning cops and guns until they shot a cougar. Cops aren't always good and overpaid athletes aren't always bad. And vice versa. People should be allowed to go wherever they want to go without being bothered. Saying they're asking for it is very un-American.

Benson has just added insult to injury.


I have to laugh at that one!

Wade you said "is every person who got a speeding ticket not allowed to use roads anymore?" But I know darn well that the next time I am driving on that road that if I am speeding there will probably be a cop there and he will more than likely pull me over. So now in the state of IL I have one more ticket until my license is suspended for 6 months and I lose out on pay because I might not be able to make it to work all the time. And how many times have you refused to do something that the police tell you to do. They don't like that too much!! On a football note... Hopefully Forte will be the better option for us.

Well according to Mariotti, if you have a boat and guests are drinking, then cops have every right to come onboard and beat you up and ruin your celebrity rep and its all Benson's fault for trying to enjoy himself to begin with, he should just go hide somewhere, right?. Hey Jay, in case you haven't heard, the USA has a document called the Constitution which has a Bill of Rights, which also includes an "innocent until proven guilty" clause, even if you're a high profile moron who likes to rant and date other men.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on May 4, 2008 10:57 PM.

Benson denies being drunk, resisting arrest was the previous entry in this blog.

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