Three 19-year-old Iowa football players, including Coach Kirk Ferentz’s son, were arrested for public intoxication after an incident early this morning in downtown Iowa City.
James Ferentz, Tyler Christensen and Zachary Derby were arrested by the University of Iowa Public Safety, for public intoxication around 2 a.m. this morning near Old Capitol Mall. All three were taken to the Johnson County Jail and were released this morning.
All three are suspended for the rest of spring football by Coach Ferentz, father of James Ferentz.
“It was very disappointing to learn of the behavior of our three players last night,” Ferentz said in a statement. “Short term, all three will be suspended for the remainder of spring practice and they will be expected to fulfill significant community service obligations the next several weekends. Additional action will be determined at a later point and return to the team will be based on additional criteria.”
Ferentz and Derby, son of former Iowa linebacker John Derby, pleaded not guilty to public intoxication charges. Both were released from the Johnson County Jail after posting $300 bond and both have bench trials set for May 8.
Christensen, 19, pleaded guilty this morning to public intoxication and fifth-degree criminal mischief. His fines and court costs totaled $489.
According to UI police complaints, Christensen, a red-shirt freshman fullback from Belmond, approached an off-duty officer wanting to fight. When on-duty officers arrived, Christensen had slurred speech, red bloodshot eyes and admitted drinking at Iowa City’s Fieldhouse bar but refused to take a blood-alcohol test. Christensen then admitted to UI police he had broken the arms off of a parking gate at the mall’s entrance. UI police then called Iowa City Police, who arrested Christensen for fifth-degree criminal mischief.
Ferentz, 19, was heard yelling and observed stumbling upon contact with a police officer, according to the complaint. His blood-alcohol level was .16, more than twice the legal limit for a impaired driver.
It’s Ferentz’s second alcohol-related arrest. Last fall he pleaded guilty to underage possession of alcohol in University Heights. He was fined $314.
Derby, a 19-year-old red-shirt freshman tight end from Iowa City, joined Christensen in wanting to fight an off-duty police officer, according to the complaint. Derby’s blood-alcohol level was .211 before the arrest.