Archive for Friday, March 2, 2001

Bush’s daughter’s friend gets Secret Service ride out of jail

March 2, 2001

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— An 18-year-old arrested on alcohol charges at a college party got a ride from Secret Service agents after his release from the Tarrant County jail, authorities said.

William Ashe Bridges, a friend of President Bush's 19-year-old daughter Jenna, spent four hours in jail, where he was issued citations for being a minor in possession of alcohol and public intoxication after a party near the Texas Christian University campus.

About 6 a.m. Sunday, men who said they were Secret Service agents picked up Bridges in a black Suburban with Virginia license plates, Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson said.

Bridges, a TCU student, said he is a friend of Bush, who attends the University of Texas at Austin. He said he called her after she had left a message on his cell phone while he was in custody.

But he added Wednesday night: "My release had nothing to do with the Secret Service."

Bridges' father, Robert Bridges of Austin, said his son told him he called Bush, who was being guarded by the Secret Service, after his release.

"When it came time for him to get out, he knew Jenna was in town and called her cell phone," his father said.

Mike Pritchard of the Dallas office of the U.S. Secret Service said agents are always with Jenna Bush, but he said he was not able to make contact late Wednesday with the security detail about the incident.

William Bridges and five others were issued alcohol-related citations at the party, said Sgt. Charlie Cloud of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

Fort Worth police received a noise complaint about midnight and went to the home, where several TCU students and Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members live, police said.

Three people were issued citations at the home, but three, including Bridges, were taken to the jail on suspicion of intoxication, Cloud said. The identity of the other two people arrested could not be confirmed Wednesday.

Sheriff Anderson said an executive chief deputy called him early Sunday about the arrest, saying Bridges was saying he was Bush's boyfriend and causing a stir in the jail.

"They said he was very courteous and very polite, but he was also very intoxicated," he said.

Dr. Bridges said that his son has been friends with Jenna Bush since they were freshmen in high school in Austin but that the two had never dated.

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