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Surfer Chris Ward competes Down Under while August trial date looms

April 8, 2009 | 11:16 am

Wardo Where's Wardo?

That was once a popular question regarding Chris Ward, a promising pro surfer who had yet to fulfill lofty expectations.

Currently, Chris Ward is in Australia competing on the ASP World Tour in the Rip Curl Pro. Wardo is ranked No. 32 in the world and will face Carlsbad's Taylor Knox when competition resumes, perhaps later today. 

But in the back of Wardo's mind, undoubtedly, is a recently set Aug. 17 trial date in Mammoth Lakes, which was the site of a late-night brawl Jan. 8, 2008. Ward was alleged to have threatened one woman with a chunk of ice and punched other women who tried to intervene.Three women were briefly hospitalized.

Officers found Ward lying on the ground outside a local bar, apparently beaten by unknown male attackers.  Ward was hospitalized and later arrested. The long-awaited trial date looms large as it falls halfway through the 10-contest season and weeks before the Hurley Pro (formerly the Boost Mobile Pro) at Lower Trestles, which is Ward's San Clemente home break.

A felony conviction probably would end Ward's season and jeopardize his standing on the tour. That'd be a shame for someone of his explosive surfing talent.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: Chris Ward's police mug shot after his 2008 arrest.