UConn men’s basketball freshman James Bouknight has been charged by university police following “an on-campus vehicular incident” on Sep. 27, the school announced. Bouknight is facing charges of evading responsibility, interfering with a police office, traveling too fast for conditions and operating a motor vehicle without a license. He is set to appear in court on Oct. 29.
According to the school’s press release, Bouknight is cooperating with police throughout the legal process.
“Like many college freshmen away from home for the first time, James made some immature decisions that will affect not only himself, but his family and his teammates,” head coach Dan Hurley said. “But he accepted responsibility for his actions early on and will deal with the consequences—- within the structure of the team as well as on the outside. I am confident that he will use this unfortunate situation as a hard learning experience.”
It’s unclear what punishment Bouknight will face in both the legal realm and within the program. UConn says Hurley is dealing with the matter internally as it relates to the basketball team. The legal ramifications are not likely to be severe.
“I was irresponsible and made some foolish choices that I regret,” Bouknight said. “I want to apologize to my family, my coaches, and my teammates for this situation and for creating an unnecessary distraction as we get ready for the upcoming season. But I intend to use this experience to learn from my mistakes and make better life decisions going forward.”
Update - October 23
More information has emerged on the situation.
According to the arrest warrant (via the New Haven Register) Bouknight was seen speeding in Storrs Center on Royce Circle Drive before crashing into a street sign and a second car. A campus police office pulled Bouknight over and noticed the smell of alcohol as he approached. Bouknight then fled from the officer on foot.
The car Bouknight was driving belongs to a female UConn student, whose name was redacted. The woman initially told police that she didn’t give anyone permission to use her car. However, she told police two weeks later that she didn’t remember if she gave Bouknight permission to drive it because she had been drinking. Bouknight said in a statement to police that he did have permission to drive the car.
Update - October 29
Bouknight’s attorney filed an application for an accelerated rehabilitation program which, if completed, would dismiss the charges against Bouknight, according to the Hartford Courant. He will appear in court on Nov. 18 to learn if his application is accepted.