Friday, 21 September, 2018

Celtics guard Jabari Bird allegedly choked girlfriend 12 times during reported assault

Celtics guard Jabari Bird to be arraigned on domestic violence charge Celtics' Jabari Bird appears in court on domestic violence charge, prosecutors reveal details of alleged incident
Andrew Wong | 14 September, 2018, 13:09

Boston Celtics guard Jabari Bird was arraigned on charges of assault and battery, assault and battery with a unsafe weapon, strangulation and kidnapping Thursday morning.

Prosecutors said the Celtics guard repeatedly strangled his girlfriend, causing her to lose consciousness at several points. 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. He allegedly dragged the victim by the ankles when she tried to leave the apartment.

Bird was transferred Saturday to an undisclosed hospital for what police have called an "evaluation" that continued until Thursday when it appeared doctors treating him had concluded he was sufficently healthy to appear in court.

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On Thursday, the Celtics released a statement saying the team does not condone domestic violence in any way and is "deeply disturbed" by the allegations against Bird.

The team notes that domestic violence issues are handled by the NBA's main office.

The Celtics have acknowledged they know of Bird's arrest, but have declined further comment since the weekend. Bail was set at $100,000 - with $50,000 required in cash - according to MassLive's Jacqueline Tempera.

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Bird, a second-round draft choice of the Celtics in 2017 out of California, signed a two-year contract with the team this summer after splitting his rookie season between Boston and the Maine Red Claws of the G-League.

Police said Bird threatened to do himself harm in a text message to the victim. Only the first year is guaranteed.

The NBA has been known to take stern action when it comes to domestic abuse, but the Celtics got in front of this matter by promptly releasing a statement after he was arraigned. A Summer League standout this past July, Bird recently signed a two-year contract, which featured a fully guaranteed contract for the 2018-19 season, with the Celtics to round out their National Basketball Association roster. His next court date is set for October 25.

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What is the NBA's domestic violence policy? The team said it "will be working with both the league and local authorities to assist in their ongoing investigations". "We have been in contact with local authorities since learning of the incident". This past May, the league and its players' union also launched a mental health program to counsel players who are actively addressing issues such as anxiety and depression.

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