Celtics forward Jared Sullinger was arrested Tuesday and charged with assault for his role in a domestic dispute with his girlfriend that took place in Massachusetts on Saturday. Sullinger is now free after turning himself in to authorities early Tuesday morning, pleading not guilty during a Tuesday arraignment and posting $5,000 bail.
According to a Waltham, Mass. Police Department report obtained by MyFoxBoston.com, Sullinger and his girlfriend, who have been in a relationship for two years, got into a "verbal argument" at their townhouse after his girlfriend "found evidence on his cell phone that he was cheating on her." Sullinger's girlfriend attempted to pack a bag and leave, which led to an escalation of the argument that saw Sullinger "push her down onto the bed" and get on top of her. Sullinger then allegedly "threw her off the bed and onto the floor" and restrained her there before finally relenting when she threatened to call police. He also allegedly "shattered" the sides of her cell phone before leaving. Sullinger's girlfriend was not seriously injured in the incident, although "red marks" were visible on her chest.
Shortly after the incident, Sullinger took a "pre-scheduled" flight to Ohio. He then returned to Boston after a warrant was issued for his arrest. The Boston Herald reports that Sullinger was free on bail after appearing in Waltham District Court, where he pleaded not guilty to charges of assault and battery, destruction of property over $250, and intimidation of a witness. The Boston Globe reports that the judge told Sullinger to contact his girlfriend "only by telephone or if a third person is present."
A statement from Sullinger, which included an apology, was posted on Celtics.com.
"I voluntarily reported to the Waltham police this morning to respond to charges against me," Sullinger said in the statement. "The experience was humbling and embarrassing for me. Yet I know that this situation has brought both sorrow and embarrassment to my girlfriend, my family, the Boston Celtics organization, my teammates, and my fans. To all of you, I apologize from the bottom of my heart. My lawyers have advised me not to discuss the case at this time. But I wanted to immediately and publicly apologize to everyone affected by this situation."
The Celtics organization also issued a statement in response to the arrest.
“The Celtics were disappointed to learn of the allegations against Jared and are currently gathering more information on the situation, which we are taking very seriously," the statement read. "We will reserve further comment until such point that we have sufficient additional information."
Sullinger, 21, was the No. 21 pick in the 2012 draft after spending two All-American seasons at Ohio State. He averaged 6 points and 5.9 rebounds in 19.8 minutes as a rookie before undergoing season-ending back surgery in February. Once regarded as a possible top-five talent, Sullinger slid in the draft due to medical red flags. He is viewed as a key piece for the Celtics, who are set to undertake a rebuilding effort after trading All-Star forward Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Nets this offseason. Nuggets guard Ty Lawson and Thunder guard DeAndre Liggins were both arrested for their roles in separate domestic violence incidents this summer. Former Clippers forward Lamar Odom was recently arrested on DUI charges.