Celtics' Jabari Bird appears in court on domestic violence charge, prosecutors reveal details of alleged incident
Prosecutors say Boston Celtics guard Jabari Bird choked his girlfriend multiple times, kicked her and prevented her from leaving his apartment before he collapsed in distress.
The Celtics released a statement after the arraignment, saying the "organization deplores domestic violence of any kind" and offering no further comment.
Bird was arrested Friday night for a domestic incident in which he allegedly assaulted, choked, and kidnapped his girlfriend. A month after the former second-round pick signed his first full-time National Basketball Association contract with the Celtics, the 24-year-old was arrested Saturday in Boston's Brighton neighbourhood on charges of domestic assault, strangulation and kidnapping.
The Celtics have released a statement in regards to Bird's arraignment.
Bird, 24, is being held on a $100,000 bail, $50,000 of which must be paid in cash.
"Prosecutors allege that Bird strangled his girlfriend, a college student, a dozen times to the point that she lost consciousness for a period of time".
Bird is being represented by Brian T. Kelly, a former federal prosecutor who spent years purusing and then successfully prosecuting James "Whitey" Bulger; and Robert Fisher, who prosecuted Massachusetts Probation Department officials in a case that was overturned on appeal, the Globe has learned.
The Celtics have called the allegations disturbing and said the team's "thoughts are with the victim". "I apologize to my family, the Celtics organization, my teammates, the fans and the National Basketball Association for the unnecessary distraction that I have caused", the statement reads, via ESPN's Marc Spears.
The woman told police she was able to leave after Bird passed out with "seizure-like" symptoms.
The team notes that domestic violence issues are handled by the NBA's main office.
"I do not condone violence against women", he said.
The argument quickly escalated when Bird "began to strangle her using one of his hands around her neck, also throwing her against the wall", Boston police wrote in the report. Drafted 56th overall by the Celtics in 2017, Bird signed a two-year, US$2.9 million (A$4m) deal in late July. By allowing the league to handle the matter, his contract could potentially be voided, depending on how the legal proceedings play out.
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