Orlando Bradford

Orlando Bradford, a former Arizona Wildcats football player, will serve five years in prison for two felony counts of aggravated assault. Two of his victims are suing the UA in federal court.

Tucson police have released new details in the case of imprisoned former Arizona Wildcats running back Orlando Bradford, who was convicted in September of aggravated assault for choking two women.

The University of Arizona is facing a federal lawsuit amid accusations that it had knowledge of prior incidents of abuse by Bradford and failed to protect one of the two women he was convicted of assaulting. Settlement talks are tentatively scheduled for October 2018, but both the victim and the school have requested a jury trial.

On Thursday, Tucson police provided records from the criminal investigations which detail other incidents of abuse. The records say Bradford’s roommates — all of them UA football players — were aware of the abuse but failed to intervene.

Bradford was sentenced to five years in prison earlier this month. He’ll have to serve 85 percent of the sentence before he is eligible for release.

Bradford was arrested in September 2016 after a woman came forward to police to say that Bradford had repeatedly hit and choked her over the previous two days. Bradford was arrested the same day and immediately dismissed from the football team.

The next day, a second woman told police that Bradford had abused her over a period of seven months, and he was re-booked into jail on the new charges.

While initial police reports detailed some of the alleged abuse, follow-up interviews with the victims, Bradford’s roommates, and his roommates’ girlfriends show that multiple people witnessed him act violently towards both women on a number of occasions.

The Star does not typically name victims of domestic violence.

The first woman said that she and Bradford had been dating since February. During the September incident, the pair argued about a scratch on Bradford’s car and he accused her of lying.

Two of his roommates’ girlfriends were at the house that night and saw the incident unfold, according to police reports.

The first witness said she was sitting on the couch when Bradford arrived home, and she watched him open the front door and push the woman into the house as she fell to the floor, police reports show.

Bradford got on top of the woman and “started punching her in the ribs and the sides of the body” before the woman got up and tried to run away, the witness told police.

The witness said that Bradford caught the woman at the foot of the stairs and she could hear sounds of a physical altercation on the stairway, reports show.

While she was unable to see the woman any longer, the witness said that she could hear her yelling and crying before she started “making sounds as though she was being strangled and was gasping for breath,” the reports say.

The second woman to witness the incident had a similar story, saying that by the time she got downstairs, the victim was “lying on the floor of the kitchen crying” while Bradford stood over her, yelling.

Bradford tried to drag the victim upstairs as she screamed, before picking up his backpack and hitting her with it, the witness told police.

When Bradford got the victim upstairs, the witness said she could hear the woman “screaming and yelling she wanted to go home,” the reports say.

The witness also told police that the next night, she walked into the kitchen to overhear Bradford talking to one of his roommates about the victim, saying “I opened my bedroom door with her head” and “I tortured her for an hour,” the reports say.

The witness said her boyfriend told her that Bradford had been joking in the locker room about what he’d done to the victim, according to police reports.

Police also interviewed Bradford’s roommate, who said that he was also home that night and woke up when he heard the noises on the stairs, police reports show.

He went down to the living room and saw his girlfriend and his other roommates’ girlfriend on the couch and said “they seemed stunned, shock on their face, expression not normal,” the report shows.

The roommate told police that he heard the victim crying and didn’t know who hit who, but could tell from the cry that “somebody got hit.”

Because he had previously dated the victim, the roommate didn’t get involved because “it would make matters worse for both of them,” the report says.

When police arrested Bradford two days after the fight, they searched his car for evidence, finding what appeared to be blood on the inside of the passenger’s door and on the dashboard. A search of his room also revealed multiple articles of clothing with “possible blood” stains on them, which were all collected into evidence, according to the police report.

After the second woman came forward to say that Bradford had abused her, police spoke to her friend about a February 2016 incident where she watched Bradford attack the woman, police reports show.

The friend, who was dating Bradford’s roommate at the time, said the four of them were riding in the car together when the victim said something to make Bradford mad, the police report says.

“Bradford exited the vehicle, opened the door... and grabbed (the victim) by her hair, pulled her from the vehicle and threw her on the ground,” according to the report.

The victim’s friend asked her boyfriend to do something, at which point he said something to Bradford, who stopped the assault.

The friend told police that “many times Bradford had gone crazy, verbally yelling and screaming” at the victim and “always” threatened to hit her, the report says.

When police spoke to the victim, she said that she and Bradford had been dating for eight months starting in January 2016, and that Bradford assaulted or strangled her on at least four occasions. The woman took photos of her injuries on each occasion and shared them with police.

Days after Bradford’s arrest, the woman called police to tell them that she was being treated for recurring symptoms of a possible concussion from a July incident in which Bradford assaulted her.

Bradford admitted to hitting the victim but denied ever choking her, the report shows. He also told police that he has “anger issues” and has “abused women.”

The first woman who reported the abuse filed the federal lawsuit against the UA in October, after she learned that campus police had responded to an incident involving Bradford and another woman in April 2016 — five months before Bradford’s arrest.

After the incident, Bradford was banned from the dorms and moved off-campus into a house with four other football players.

The lawsuit says that the UA didn’t do enough to protect other students from Bradford, despite their prior knowledge that he posed a danger to women.

Contact reporter Caitlin Schmidt at cschmidt@tucson.com or 573-4191. Twitter: @caitlinschmidt

I'm a government watchdog reporter, covering public safety policy and family issues.