Iowa football players James Ferentz and Zachary Derby pleaded guilty Friday to public intoxication charges stemming from an April 6 incident in downtown Iowa City.
Ferentz, son of head coach Kirk Ferentz, and Derby, son of former Iowa linebacker John Derby, were scheduled to go to trial on Friday. Both filed written guilty pleas in the case after initially paying $300 in bonds.
Derby, Ferentz and Tyler Christensen — all age 19 — were arrested by the University of Iowa Public Safety for public intoxication around 2 a.m. April 6 near Old Capitol Mall. All three were suspended from team activities immediately following the incident.
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 a downtown 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 or citation. Last fall he pleaded guilty to underage possession of alcohol in University Heights. He was fined $314. Ferentz was expected to compete for the starting center position this fall.
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.
Christensen, 19, pleaded guilty this morning to public intoxication and fifth-degree criminal mischief. His fines and court costs totaled $489.