Over the weekend, Bears' running back Cedric Benson was arrested while boating on Lake Travis, in Austin, TX. The Lower Colorado River Authority handcuffed Benson and charged him with boating while intoxicated and resisting arrest. The whole thing ended with the police pepper-spraying Benson in the face, because, as LCRA Sgt. Leonard Snyder said, "I had exhausted all attempts to gain control of Benson, and been met with resistance and what I perceived as a threat, I administered pepper spray into Benson's face to gain control. Only after this was I able to restrain Benson."
Benson's story was slightly different, and he feels the police mistreated him.
"Once we got to land, the Travis County police grabbed me and kicked my feet from under me. So I landed on my back while I was handcuffed. They held me down and held the water hose over my face. I couldn't breathe, I'm choking, I'm begging the cops, 'Please stop. Please stop.' Then they picked me up and dragged me backward toward their car. And I'm still being polite, asking them, 'Sir, could you please allow me to walk like a man to your cop car?' They just kept dragging me on."
Now, new details have come out, and it seems that the whole incident was scary enough that one of Benson's friends, Elizabeth Cartwright, 22, called her parents and urged them to call 911
"I called my dad and told him, 'Call 911, my black friend is getting beaten up by police on Lake Travis,' " said Cartwright. "It's more what I heard than what I saw. I have never heard or seen Cedric that scared."
According to Cartwright, there were nearly 15 people on the boat, including Benson's mother, Jackie. When they decided to head back in, a patrol boat stopped to conduct a random check. After passing inspection, the officers said they had to conduct a sobriety test on Benson.
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."
Yikes. I'm guessing we haven't heard the last of this. And (very) selfishly, as someone who will be on Lake Travis in about a month, this is rather disconcerting.