Records: Wildcat football players knew of teammate's violence, stayed silent
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Newly released records from the Tucson Police Department reveal statements from witnesses and victims, stating a former University of Arizona Wildcats football player's roommates and teammates were aware of, but did not report, violent incidents.
Former Wildcats running back Orlando Bradford, who was dismissed from the team in September 2016, pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated assault-domestic violence on Friday, Sept. 29.
Bradford was originally facing three counts of domestic violence kidnapping and eight counts of aggravated assault-domestic violence.
When asked about the reports, the University of Arizona athletics department told Tucson News Now they would not comment "as there is pending litigation."
UA Associate Athletic Director Jeremy Sharpe said the school is currently involved in a lawsuit regarding the case.
In late 2017, Bradford was sentenced to five years in prison.
Tucson News Now has decided not to reveal the names of the victims or witnesses in this case.
In one case, Bradford and the victim had an intimate and romantic relationship with reports of nine month's worth of abuse.
Notes from the TPD list at least four incidents of violence from January 2016 to September 2016, when the victim received "bruises, scratches and bloody noses."
"(Bradford) gets upset over needing a cell phone," the report stated. "(He) grabbed the victim by the neck, pushing her against the wall. (Bradford) strangled the victim for 15-20 seconds."
The victim told investigators Bradford saw a text on her phone, became upset and demanded she get in the shower.
Bradford allegedly slapped her in the head, causing her to hit her head on the shower wall, and strangled her. She was also hit on the nose, causing it to bleed and her face to swell.
The report said the victim took pictures of her injuries and gave them to police.
Witness statements claim Bradford's roommates, Arizona Wildcats football players, saw the abuse and heard threats of violence but never reported the behavior.
No other Wildcat player has been charged in connection with Bradford's case.
One of the witnesses recounted a February 2016 incident which alleged happened in Bradford's vehicle. The witness said Bradford, one of the victims, a female witness and a UA football player were in the vehicle.
The witness told the TPD the victim said something to Bradford, which angered him.
"Bradford exited the vehicle, opened the door and slid the seat forward," according to the report. "He grabbed the victim by the hair, pulled her from the vehicle and threw her on the ground."
The witness also said Bradford, on several occasions, had "gone crazy, verbally yelling and screaming" at one of the victims and "threatened to kill her."
According to the witness' reports, Bradford would hit the victim "in front of the guys" and named the four football players who lived in the house.
A witness, who police said was in a relationship with one of Bradford's roommates, heard that Bradford was, "telling everyone in the locker room what he had done (to the victim) and was joking about it."
The witness told police they felt bad for not intervening or calling the police.
On the same day he was arrested, Bradford was kicked off the Arizona Wildcats football team.
Bradford, a true sophomore at the time of his arrest, is from Shreveport, Louisiana.
Head Coach Rich Rodriguez made the announcement on Sept. 14, 2016, after one victim spoke with Tucson police.
According to her statement and police records, Bradford had strangled her four separate times and took her against her will three times over the course of two days. The TPD said she had injuries consistent with her account of the incidents.
The victim said she and Bradford had been dating for three months and she slept at Bradford's home "everyday."
According to her account, two of Brown's roommates and UA football players were present for the incidents.
It was only after the first victim came forward that the second victim told her story to officers.
Bradford was arrested on the second set of charges the day after he was dismissed from the team.
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