BOSTON - Boston Celtics' shooting guard Jabari Bird appeared in court on assault, kidnapping, and strangulation charges stemming from an alleged domestic violence incident in Brighton Friday night.
Bird was taken into custody Friday after police said he attacked someone in a home in Brighton. Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley said in a statement Monday that the alleged assault was on someone he was in a romantic relationship with.
In court Thursday, prosecutors alleged Bird assaulted his girlfriend at least a dozen times and that he strangled her to the point where she lost consciousness before letting go. They said the assaults lasted for hours.
"She did lose consciousness at one point for two seconds and when she woke she found herself on the floor of the defendant's bedroom, When she stuck her head out the defendant kicked her multiple times," said Assistant District Attorney Khyati Short.
Police say Bird even put the victim in the bathroom and held the door shut. Eventually, she got out and reportedly found Bird having "seizure-like symptoms." After getting help, she told police that Bird was upset with her over trust issues in the relationship.
Bird was at a hospital where police had been guarding him around the clock until his arraigned Thursday. He was expected to be arraigned on the charges on Monday but the court appearance never happened.
Bird's attorney said he did not get to share his version of what happened. The defense said Bird's high school coach is expected to come to Boston to help supervise him while the case is pending.
Bail was set at $50,000 cash. The judge ordered Bird to stay away from the victim, who goes to an area college. He is also ordered not to use drugs, alcohol, possess weapons or leave the state of Massachusetts.
Bird released a statement after his court appearance:
"I'm taking some time away from the team as I deal with my legal and medical issues. I apologize to my family, the Celtics organization, my teammates, the fans and the NBA for the unnecessary distraction that I have caused. The information that has been released does not tell the full story. I do not condone violence against women. I am hopeful that in due time and process, I will be able to regain everyone's trust."
The Boston Celtics released a new statement Thursday regarding the incident:
"Most importantly, our thoughts are with the victim of this incident. The Celtics organization deplores domestic violence of any kind, and we are deeply disturbed by the allegations against Jabari Bird. Pursuant to Domestic Violence Policy in the NBA’s labor agreement, matters of this kind are handled by the League Office, not the team, and so the Celtics will be working with both the league and local authorities to assist in their ongoing investigations. The team will have no further comment at this time."
.@Jabari_Bird in court on assault/kindapping/strangulation charges. Prosecutors say Bird assaulted his girlfriend at least a dozen times. They say they he strangled her to point where she lost consciousness, then let go. Happened at his residence.— Robert Goulston (@rgoulston) September 13, 2018
Resources are available if you are a victim or know someone who is a victim of domestic violence.
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