NEW YORK (AP/1010 WINS) – Indiana Pacers draft pick Lance Stephenson, after pushing his girlfriend down a flight of stairs, grabbed her and hit her head on the bottom step, prosecutors said Monday.
A judge released Stephenson, 19, without bail late Sunday night after his arrest on assault, menacing and harassment charges. Prosecutors had asked for $7,500 bail.
Authorities say the confrontation occurred around 5 a.m. Sunday when the victim, Jasmine Williams, was returning home to her apartment building on Avenue Z with two friends. Witnesses said Stephenson was waiting for her and yelled, “Are you kidding me?” before pushing her down the stairs.
LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reports
A criminal complaint provided Monday by the Brooklyn district attorney’s office said that as Williams lay at the bottom of the stairs, Stephenson picked up her head and slammed it on the bottom step.
When police arrived, Stephenson told them the woman had fallen down the stairs, prosecutors said. The complaint said Williams suffered head and back wounds, and possible damage to her neck.
Pacers president Larry Bird called Stephenson’s arrest “very disappointing to the Pacers franchise and to me personally.” A defense attorney said Stephenson didn’t harm his girlfriend.
Attorney Alberto Ebanks, said Monday that his client “did not maliciously, intentionally or in any other way cause harm to Jasmine Williams.”
Stephenson’s neighbors near his home on West 19th Street in Coney Island don’t believe the allegations either.
“I knew him my whole life since kindergarten,” one man told 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria. ”Why would he do that now when he knows he made it already; why would he start dumb stupidity now?” .
“The way he grew up in a tough neighborhood and made it out, you know, I like him, I’m proud of him,” another man said.
Stephenson was one of the nation’s top high school prospects. He played one season at Cincinnati before applying for early entry to the NBA draft.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)