By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Chad Bumphis was celebrating a friend’s birthday and the New Year, having pictures made at a downtown Tupelo bar, when the party took a violent turn.
Bumphis, a junior wide receiver for Mississippi State and former Tupelo High School standout, was struck in the neck with a champagne bottle by another patron. That set off a large fight at the Atlanta Bar & Grill early Sunday morning, and Bumphis was arrested by Tupelo police.
He was charged with disorderly conduct and public drunkenness and released from the Lee County Jail on his own recognizance.
Bumphis, 22, suffered a broken tooth and a cut on his neck, which required stitches. According to his mother, Dorothy Bumphis, her son was attacked without provocation.
“He was standing there, and next thing he knew he had been hit in the mouth with a champagne bottle,” she said. “Chad didn’t hit anybody or anything. They took him outside, and then they took him to jail to calm him down.”
Dorothy Bumphis also said that Chad told her he was not drunk.
“Chad’s not a drinker,” she said. “I’m not going to tell you he didn’t drink anything.”
Bumphis was celebrating the birthday of his friend and former Tupelo High teammate, Justin Bean.
Bumphis has a hearing set for Jan. 12 at Tupelo Municipal Court.
Tupelo police said information on Bumphis’ alleged attacker, or any other information on the incident, would not be available until Tuesday. Today is a government holiday.
MSU coach Dan Mullen is aware of the incident, according to a team spokesman. The university said in a statement, “We will handle this the way we would any other incident, especially a situation where there are differing accounts.”
This past season, the 5-foot-11, 205-pound Bumphis recorded 25 catches for 339 yards and three touchdowns for MSU, which defeated Wake Forest 23-17 in the Music City Bowl on Friday.
In 2008, Bumphis was named the Daily Journal offensive player of the year as a senior.