Chicago Bears running back Cedric Benson was charged with failing a sobriety test while operating a 30-foot boat, then resisting arrest before being hit with pepper spray and dragged ashore by officers near Austin, Texas.
Benson, 25, faces charges of boating while intoxicated and resisting arrest after the incident Saturday night on Lake Travis, Travis County Sheriff's Department spokesman Roger Wade said.
Benson was released from jail early yesterday on a $14,500 bond. The charges are misdemeanors, each punishable by up to six months in jail and a $2,000 fine. A call from the Associated Press to Benson's agent was not immediately returned. Benson was operating the boat with 15 passengers aboard when he was stopped by a Lower Colorado River Authority officer for a random safety inspection. He failed a field sobriety test on the officer's boat and was uncooperative when the officer tried to take him ashore, the authority said.
"When Benson did not pass the test, he presented himself as a threat to the officer and argued about whether or not he would be taken to land to have a follow-up field sobriety test performed on land and refused to put on a life jacket," the authority said in a statement.
The officer had to use pepper spray to subdue Benson. The running back then refused to leave the officer's boat, and authorities had to drag him to a car to be taken to the Travis County jail, the authority said.
Chicago coach Lovie Smith said he's still trying to figure out what happened.
"I haven't had a chance to speak with Cedric yet, but anytime we're talking about one of our players getting arrested, you're disappointed in it," Smith said yesterday at the end of the Bears' three-day rookie minicamp in Lake Forest, Ill.
Bears officials said general manager Jerry Angelo was out of town and unavailable to comment.
Benson has had legal problems before. He was sentenced to eight days in jail in 2003 for a misdemeanor trespassing charge after forcing his way into an apartment to look for a reported stolen TV. In 2002, misdemeanor drug and alcohol charges against him were dropped.
He has done little since the Bears took him with the fourth pick of the 2005 draft.
Last season, as the featured back, he rushed for 674 yards, four touchdowns and 3.4 yards a carry before going on injured reserve in November.
Redskins -- Second-round draft pick Fred Davis did not show up for minicamp practice, having overslept on his third day in the NFL. The team sent security officials to track down the tight end after he failed to arrive as scheduled from a local hotel, where the rookies were housed during the minicamp. Davis eventually arrived at Redskins Park and met with Jim Zorn in the coach's office. "He just had a setback," Zorn said. "Hopefully everybody will learn from the lesson that he is having to learn right now about what it is going to take to get to a place on time, to be responsible."