Free-agent center Greg Oden has been formally charged with felony battery stemming from his arrest last Thursday after allegedly punching his ex-girlfriend in the face after a night of drinking.
The former No. 1 overall NBA draft pick now faces three charges, according to Justin L. Mack of the Indianapolis Star:
Oden, 26, was charged in Marion Superior Court [Monday] with one count of battery resulting in serious bodily injury, a Level 5 felony, as well as misdemeanor charges of domestic battery and battery resulting in bodily injury.
His felony offense carries a penalty of one to six years behind bars.
Lawrence, Ind., police were called to a home belonging to Oden's mother at about 3:30 a.m. on Aug. 7, and arrived "to find the victim crying and lying across a bed holding her face," according to Bill McCleery and Matthew Glenesk of the Star:
A woman described as the victim's best friend first told officers what happened, police said.
"He punched her in the face," the witness said, according to the report. [...]
Police "observed blood, swelling to the nose, lacerations to the forehead and nose area of the victim's face," according to the report. They also "observed blood on the sofa and floor in the sitting area. [They] observed [blood] on the living room carpet [and] dirt from a flower pot that was knocked over."
Police described Oden as "calm, apologetic and cooperative" when they spoke with him. Oden told officers that he and the victim had dated for about two years, but had broken up about two months prior to the incident. One of Oden's relatives told police that an argument between the two woke her up, according to Indianapolis Fox affiliate WXIN-TV:
“Things got out of control and I started to go after the victim,” police quoted Oden in the report. He said the relative and witness tried to hold him back, but he swung his arms trying to break free and punched the victim.
“I was wrong and I know what has to happen,” Oden told officers.
In a probable cause affadavit accompanying the charges against Oden filed Monday, Lawrence police offer details of the 911 calls made in the incident:
In the first call a hysterical female repeatedly asked for an ambulance. She was unable to provide a correct address to the dispatcher. At one point in the call she stated, "I can't do the blood." Shortly afterward she stated, "She needs a paramedic; she's bleeding really bad." When asked what happened, the female stated, "They were in an argument." She then identified the person bleeding as her "best friend, [the victim]." The dispatcher asked the female caller if someone hit [the victim] and she responded, "Yes." The dispatcher then asked, "Is he still there?" The caller stated, "He's here."
In the second call, a male subject who identified himself as "Greg" informs the dispatcher that he got in a fight with his girlfriend when asked for the address of the emergency. He then stated, "And I already know how this [deleted] gon' go." [...] A loud disturbance and crying can be heard in the background during the call. The dispatcher asked if an ambulance was needed and the male replied, "Um, somebody is bleeding, so yes. But it's not that deep. So yes, send an ambulance." When asked who is bleeding, the caller stated that his girlfriend was the one bleeding. He then advised the dispatcher that she was bleeding from around her eye.
According to the court documents, the victim said that Oden "had been drinking shots of alcohol and had also consumed a few beers" on the night of the incident, and that "he sometimes gets upset when he drinks." (Oden said in an interview two years ago that he "pretty much became an alcoholic" while struggling through injuries during his second season with the Portland Trail Blazers, but that he'd stopped drinking the following offseason as he worked to get himself in shape in hopes of having a healthy return to the court.) The victim told police that she and Oden had been "having relationship issues lately," and that a heated argument preceded the physical altercation:
[The victim] said that she again tried to move away from Gregory Oden and went to wake [his mother] in the hope that she could calm her son. [The victim] stated that as she was coming back down the stairs Gregory Oden attacked her, grabbing her by the left arm and began to shove her around the family room. She advised this caused her pain and bruising to her left arm. She said [deleted] attempted to intervene to shield her from Gregory Oden. [The victim] said Gregory Oden then pushed her onto the couch and leaned over the top of her. She said that he then punched her with a closed right fist three times in the face, causing her pain. She stated that [deleted] and [deleted] had grabbed Gregory Oden by his left arm and tried to pull him off of her. She advised that she was struck once in the left eye, once in the forehead and once in the nose. [The victim] stated that the punch to her forehead created a laceration that began to bleed heavily. She advised that she was unable to fight back, and Gregory Oden only stopped assaulting her when he saw the blood on her face. He then moved away from her and called the police.
The victim "received a CAT scan, three stitches between her eyebrows and a prescription for pain and swelling in her face" at Community Hospital North in Indianapolis; her left eye "was nearly swollen shut."
Oden was released from police custody last Thursday evening on $10,000 bond, but was fitted with a GPS monitoring device before leaving Marion County Jail, according to Fox59. He's scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday.
After knee injuries limited him to just 82 total games over five years in Portland, Oden returned to the NBA last season with the Miami Heat. He played just 219 combined regular and postseason minutes for the Eastern Conference champions, averaging 2.6 points and 2.1 rebounds in 8.4 minutes per game. He is now an unrestricted free agent.
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