Pro Surfer Assault Trial in Mammoth

Over a year after the incident, a trial has been set in the assault case against professional surfer Christopher Ward.

The case continues through the system. Since the arrest, a trial date has come and gone and negotiations have been close with no agreement reached.

At the time of the incident, on January 8th 2008, police reported witnesses said that Ward had threatened a woman with a chunk of ice. Three other women tried to stop the suspect when Ward allegedly started to beat them with his fists.

The three women were taken to Mammoth Hospital and released, police say. Officers found Ward lying on the ground outside of the bar, apparently beaten by additional unknown male suspects. Several individuals apparently chased Ward down after the alleged assault. After a short foot pursuit, Ward slipped on a patch of ice and was caught by the individuals. With this slip on ice along with possible blows to the face, Assistant District Attorney Tim Kendall reports that there wasnt enough evidence to charge anyone for an assault on Ward.

Ward was taken to the hospital and later arrested.

Ward is charged with two counts of felony assault likely to produce bodily harm and one misdemeanor battery on three female victims. A felony conviction could affect the pro surfers ability to travel around the world for surfing contests. Kendall reports that both sides had appeared to be close to a resolution of the case, but that has now fallen through.

The trial date has now been set for August 17th.


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