The night before the biggest game of the season and what would you be doing? Would you be celebrating? Would you be in the hotel with your teammates? Carolina Panthers reserve lineman Jeremy Bridges was out on the town for a bottle of Dom Perignon.
The manager at Villa Antonio, Miguel Rullier, said the incident started when Bridges ordered a bottle of Dom Perignon from the restaurant bar Saturday night and shook it up, causing the champagne to spew and get other patrons wet.
Rullier said Bridges was asked to leave and politely agreed to do so.
He said a female customer who had been doused then pursued Bridges, complaining loudly.
“I don’t know what she told him, but it made him irritable,” said Rullier.
Rullier said Bridges became angry and had to be restrained by a bouncer. He said Bridges pushed the bouncer out of the way, but did not strike anyone else.
“He was yelling and out of control,” said Rullier. “He’s a big guy and we couldn’t handle it anymore, so we called the police.”
Rullier said Bridges left about 10 minutes later, before police arrived.
[Bridges' attorney, George] Laughrun said Bridges doesn’t dispute the part of the story about the wine bottle erupting, but denies that Bridges pushed a bouncer or threatened anyone.
“He left his credit card there and had to go back and get his credit card,” said Laughrun. “There was a woman who evidently got irate. But we adamantly disagree that he pushed or shoved anybody, or communicated threats to anyone.”
It’s going to be a case of he said, she said or maybe they said, he said. What could be a crucial question is this – was Jeremy shaking the bottle to make it spray on those around him?
Did he think he had just won the Super Bowl? That’s a few weeks away, isn’t it?
The most disturbing thing is that something like this would happen on the night before the biggest game the Panthers have played in years.
Bridges turned himself in and posted bail. He’s awaiting his next move which is to be a plea and he’s probably going to plead not guilty. The team is waiting for more information on the incident.