Celtics G Bird pleads not guilty to assault, other charges

Celtics guard Jabari Bird leaves the Boston Police station in Brighton Sept. 13 2018

Boston Celtics guard Jabari Bird pleaded not guilty on Thursday to charges of domestic assault, strangulation, and kidnapping.

According to reports, Bird's girlfriend says he detained her for four hours on Friday afternoon in their Brighton apartment.

Both Bird and the victim were taken to the hospital following the incident, and the 24-year-old guard was on suicide watch while at the hospital, according to the Boston Herald's Mark Murphy. He allegedly repeatedly kicked her and strangled her roughly a dozen times, including once until she lost consciousness.

4 p.m.: This report has been updated with news of Jabari Bird taking time off from the Celtics and a Milwaukee police officer being fired in aftermath of the stun gun arrest of Bucks' player Sterling Brown.

Bail was set at $50,000, with the condition that Bird stay away from the victim, abstain from alcohol and drugs, and continue treatment. The victim stated that she escaped when Bird began having "seizure-like symptoms".

Bird's lawyer, former federal prosecutor Brian Kelly, said his client "understands the seriousness of the allegations" but said there are two sides to the story.

He apologized to his family, the Celtics, his teammates, fans and the National Basketball Association "for the unnecessary distraction that I have caused".

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The Celtics issued a statement yesterday. "The information that has been released does not tell the full story". I do not condone violence against women.

"The Celtics organization deplores domestic violence of any kind, and we are deeply disturbed by the allegations against Jabari Bird", the team said in a statement. "I am hopeful that in due time and process, I will be able to regain everyone's trust".

According to CBS Boston, Bird violently attacked his girlfriend in her apartment over the course of several hours.

Bird had been held at a local hospital for evaluation, which delayed the arraignment hearing to Thursday.

The Celtics said in their statement that, per the NBA's policy on domestic violence, "matters of this kind" are handled by the league. Signed to a one-year, two-way contract, he spent the majority of his rookie season with Boston's G-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws.

Bird, drafted in the second round in 2017, appeared in 13 games for the C's last season, and averaged 3.0 points and 1.5 rebounds in 8:49 per game.

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