Wisconsin captain Brad Winchester, faced with a felony charge of battery to a police officer, made an initial appearance in Dane County court on Monday.
The Dane County District Attorney’s office filed charges against Winchester after a fight outside a campus bar early Sunday. The Badgers senior was released on a signature bond at about 3:45 p.m. Monday, after an arraignment scheduled for 2 p.m.
Winchester, 21, also faces a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge after the incident, which took place hours after Wisconsin defeated St. Cloud State at the Kohl Center on Saturday night. Charges of resisting arrest were not pursued by the district attorney.
According to the police report, officers responded at 2:20 a.m. Sunday to a disturbance outside the Kollege Klub bar, 529 N. Lake St., where they saw Winchester fighting with an unidentified individual.
Officer Caleb Bedford made contact with Winchester to break up the fight, then Winchester punched Bedford in the nose several times, according to the police report. Bedford was treated for a bruised nose at a local hospital.
Winchester was subdued by another officer using pepper spray.
The school was in the process of “fact-collecting,” Wisconsin associate athletic director Steve Malchow said. Badgers coach Mike Eaves was out of town on Monday, and Malchow said Winchester’s status on the team is undetermined.
“I don’t know enough about the whole situation, but from what I know, maybe some of us would react in the same way, maybe some of us wouldn’t,” Wisconsin assistant coach Troy Ward said.
Ward added: “We’re just in support of Brad in that situation because of his character and who we believe that he is. But at the same time, we’re open-minded to let us find out more from the police and from their situation.”
Winchester, a Madison native listed at 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, was the 35th pick in 2000 NHL entry draft, selected by Edmonton. He was a member of the 2000 U.S. National Junior Team.
In 34 games this season, he has 10 goals and five assists. For his career, he has 40 goals and 43 assists.
Winchester’s arrest was the second shock to the team in five days. In last Thursday’s editions of The Capital Times and Wisconsin State Journal, forward Alex Leavitt went public with allegations that Eaves was physically and verbally abusive to him in a confrontation earlier this season. Eaves was reprimanded by the athletic department for the incident.