Jeremy Stephens and his camp have been unequivocal - Stephens did not strike the victim in the incident that led to his arrest in Minnesota last week on a Des Moines warrant for willful injury and assault causing bodily injury immediately prior to his UFC on FX 5 bout.
Stephens' agent Ryan Hass has also questioned the timing of the arrest.
“Jeremy has lived at the same residence in San Diego and has maintained the same phone number for the past year or more,” said Hass. “Jeremy also uses social media to provide updates on his training, and to thank fans, supporters, sponsors and the UFC. In short, Jeremy is not a hard guy to find.”
The Des Moines Register today reported details about the alleged assault.
Police officials insisted the fight was their only chance to serve a warrant on the San Diego man.
“It wasn’t personal. We gave him several opportunities to turn himself in. He’s had a year to take care of it,” said Des Moines Police Sgt. Joe Leo.“
The crime Stephens was arrested for reportedly occurred almost a year ago, on Oct. 15, 2011.
According to police reports, the victim and his wife were at Fat Tony’s, 1500 SE 1st St., with Stephens and Dustin James Bachman, 27.
The victim had reportedly been asked to leave the bar and was still in the parking lot when Stephens and Bachman emerged soon after.
According to the victim’s wife, Stephens punched the victim in the left eye. The victim leaned against the building and Bachman punched him on the head and face several times, police said.
The victim’s wife helped him get into their car and was trying to lock the doors when Bachman reportedly pulled the victim out of the vehicle by his feet. Stephens and Bachman then allegedly punched and kicked the victim on his head and body for about a minute, authorities said.
The suspects fled. The victim was unconscious and stopped breathing twice, police reports show. He was intubated and taken to the hospital in critical condition.
Officers checked every address listed for both men and tried to get their whereabouts from friends and family. Bachman was arrested later that day, then released from jail.
He also faces charges of willful injury and assault causing bodily injury and his case is winding through the court system.
Des Moines police say they notified Stephens of the warrant and gave him several opportunities to surrender in Iowa.
But Stephens lives in California and the warrant specified police could only travel to surrounding states to get him. The fight in Minnesota was the first time police knew he would be in a surrounding state, Leo said.
Stephens was extradited to Iowa and as of Friday afternoon remained in the Polk County Jail on a $100,000 bond.
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