LINCOLN — Former Nebraska football player Alfonzo Dennard, accused of punching a Lincoln police officer last weekend, was charged with a felony Monday, three days before the NFL draft begins.
The 22-year-old NFL prospect appeared Monday afternoon in Lancaster County Court, where a judge set bond at $5,000 and prosecutors charged Dennard with third-degree assault on an officer. He will next appear in court on May 15.
Court documents state that Dennard was warned twice by police to leave Lincoln’s downtown bar area before officers attempted to arrest him just after 2 a.m. Saturday.
A police report says officers observed Dennard, while walking eastbound in the 14th Street crosswalk, bumping into a 22-year-old man and punching him in the chest around 2:15 a.m. Saturday.
According to the probable cause affidavit, Dennard was also involved in two arguments outside the Hour Lounge before that alleged assault.
Police told him to leave the area after both incidents, according to the affidavit. The affidavit says Dennard then engaged in a third altercation when he punched the man.
Police intervened and attempted to place Dennard in custody, giving verbal commands, according to the affidavit. Dennard pushed and punched one officer — and at one point, after being taken to the ground, stood back up, according to the affidavit. Police said it took four officers to restrain Dennard.
The injured officer, identified by Lincoln police as a four-year veteran, suffered a 2-centimeter abrasion to his left jaw, according to the affidavit.
Dennard spent the rest of the weekend in Lancaster County Jail. He posted 10 percent of his $5,000 bond on Monday.
About a dozen of Dennard’s friends and family members attended the brief arraignment hearing Monday. They declined to comment.
Dennard’s lawyer, Terry Dougherty, had no specific comment on the case’s details Monday, saying only that he was “glad” to get Dennard out of jail.
Third-degree assault on an officer is a Class III-A felony in Nebraska, punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $10,000.
The NFL’s seven-round draft, set over three days, starts Thursday. The Big Ten’s 2011 defensive back of the year and a three-year starter for the Huskers, Dennard was expected to be at least a third-round pick before the weekend’s arrest. It’s assumed that the incident will negatively impact his draft status.
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