U of U football player guilty of road rage assault

Jan 7 2013 - 5:31pm

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Arthur Allen Bridenstine, (Police photo)
Arthur Allen Bridenstine, (Police photo)

FARMINGTON -- A University of Utah football linebacker was sentenced for his role in a road rage incident that left a 20-year-old man unconscious.

Arthur Allen Bridenstine, 24, of Orem, appeared for a sentencing hearing on Monday before Judge John R. Morris in 2nd District Court. He had entered a guilty plea to assault, a Class A misdemeanor on Dec. 17. The charges stem from an incident that occurred on Sept. 22, 2012, in Centerville.

Morris sentenced Bridenstine to serve 18 months probation with the court, 50 hours of community service and left restitution open to give prosecutors more time to contact the 20-year-old victim.

Morris also sentenced Bridenstine to take a cognitive thinking class to learn to control his anger.

When asked by Morris what he learned from the incident, Bridenstine said, "To be responsible for my own actions and not to take matters into my own hands."
A sentence to serve one year in jail was suspended.

Morris said if for some reason the sentence causes "eligibility issues come back and let's see what we can do."

Bridenstine, who is listed as a redshirt freshman by the university, told the judge he was a junior at the U of U. According to the school's website, "Afa" Bridenstine, is listed as a linebacker from Hawaii.

Bridenstine was also arrested by Utah Highway Patrol on Nov. 4, 2012, and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, a Class C misdemeanor in 3rd District Court. He entered a guilty plea on Dec. 26, 2012, and was sentenced to 48 hours of community service and to pay a $1,000 fine, according to the state court website.

Deputy Davis County Attorney Michael Gadd said he was unaware of the charges out of 3rd District Court.

Liz Abel, spokeswoman with the U of U, said Bridenstine is a walk-on with the school's football team and is in his "freshman year of eligibility. He hasn't played a game."
Abel wasn't sure whether the coaches knew of Bridenstine's arrest, or whether it will impact his status on the team. The coaches were out of town at a conference and were unable to be reached.

Centerville Assistant Police Chief Paul Child said the road rage incident happened in the Centerville McDonald's parking lot at 3:51 p.m. on Sept. 22, 2012.

Bridenstine was driving a car with three passengers, heading southbound on the Frontage Road and looking for an address to attend a birthday party, when a pickup truck passed them.

"Mr. Bridenstine told officers he felt like the pickup truck had tried to run them off the road," Child said.

Bridenstine followed the truck into the parking lot, parked it at a 90 degree angle so the truck could not leave, Child said. He got out of the car and walked up to the truck. At the same time, the driver in the truck put the truck into reverse so he could talk to Bridenstine.

Bridenstine punched the 20-year-old man in the face, knocking him unconscious and causing him to fall into the lap of a 19-year-old female passenger, Child said. The man's foot had left the brake causing the truck to roll backward.

An 18-year-old woman, who was a passenger in Bridenstine's car, had got out and put herself between the truck and the car, Child said. The truck then pinned the woman between the two vehicles. Bridenstine heard the woman's screams and then moved to push the truck off the woman.

The woman's 17-year-old brother got out of the car and pulled the unconscious man out and hit him several times, Child said.

Police referred the 17-year-old to 2nd District Juvenile Court for charges.

The 20-year-old victim was transported to a hospital, where he was treated for his injuries, Child said.

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