When Carolina Panthers offensive lineman Jeremy Bridges was found guilty in November of assault by pointing a gun, it initially seemed to be your run-of-the-mill athlete breaking the law case. He was outside of a strip club, yada yada yada, his friends got in a fight, yada yada yada, and Bridges then went and got his gun out of his car and pointed it at someone.
It seemed routine until the court case. That is, the court case that turned into an absurd side-show that even “Law & Order” couldn’t beat.
One of the witnesses against Bridges, Michael Fowler, showed up to testify wearing a black evening dress with a gold belt and matching high-heeled shoes. Since it was a sleeveless dress, the “Mike Mike” tattoo on his left arm was clearly visible.Do you think the court reporter added a "laughter filled the room" to the transcript of the proceedings? Then there was one of the accuser’s friends, who was almost as good.
When Fowler took the stand that day, Laughrun asked “Is it Mr. Fowler, or Miss Fowler?” to an immediate objection from prosecution attorneys as Fowler huffed “Mister.”
Coleman’s witnesses also included her pregnant ex-girlfriend, though she set the stage for that when one of her first statements under oath was “I don’t even date men,” when asked about her relationship with Bridges’ friend Darrell Bennett.Bridges was sentenced to a suspended sentence and community service, while also being suspended for two game by the Panthers. Up until today he had been appealing the judgment, but after receiving assurances from the NFL that he would incur no further penalties, the appeal was rescinded. And while it may have been a wise choice on Bridges’ part, the public really is the one suffering. For the circus that was sure to follow most defeinitely would have been worth whatever it would have cost the tax-payers.