Video of Benson booking released

May 9, 2008 12:17:21 PM PDT
New video has been released of Bears player Cedric Benson getting booked on charges of boating while drunk and resisting arrest in Texas.The video surfaced the same day Benson hired a high profile defense attorney to handle his case.

Benson has denied resisting arrest and says police mistreated him.

Benson is due in court later this month. On Thursday, he hired attorney Sam Basset, a well-known defense attorney in Austin, Texas. He's handled big cases before and now he's taken on a new case that's sure to get national attention.

The Travis County sheriff's department released video of Benson being brought into the police station barefoot and in handcuffs.

He was then fingerprinted and mug shots were taken of the Bears running back.

Benson appeared calm and cooperative as he was placed with other people who had been arrested.

Benson was arrested Saturday following a random safety inspection.

Benson was charged with resisting arrest and boating while intoxicated.

Benson's attorney is disputing those charges after passengers on Benson's boat described what they witnessed.

"Cedric was not consuming alcohol to excess and was not intoxicated. And it also failed in their report that they couldn't understand why the officers pulled him on a separate boat and started requiring him to do tests," said Basset.

Basset says he understands the need for safety inspection in light of increased alcohol and drug related boating accidents, but he feels his client was targeted and treated unfairly.

"I am concerned that the situation was not handled as well as it could have been, particularly with regard to him getting pepper sprayed," he said.

Some witnesses backed up those claims.

"They ended up -- I don't know why -- but laid him down on his back. And I heard him starting to say, 'Please don't pepper spray me,'" said Toby Patch, witness.

Benson was released on bond and his attorney says he is now focusing on the upcoming football season.

"Number one, he doesn't feel like he deserved to be arrested. And number two, he knows that it's a distraction for his team. But he's going to work as hard as he can to have as good of season as possible," said Basset.

Texas authorities say proper procedure was followed and Benson refused to take a sobriety test, so he was taken to land for more tests.

Benson is scheduled to appear in court May 19 - the same day the Bears begin team activities.

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