Boston Celtics 24-year-old guard Jabari Bird appeared in Brighton Municipal Court in conjunction with an incident from September 7, 2018, in which he is accused of choking his girlfriend so badly that she lost consciousness. The hearing was held this morning, and according to TMZ Sports, “the allegations are horrifying.” As prosecutors began presenting their case against Bird, it is alleged that there may be a longer history of abuse between the pair than one isolated day or incident.
Bird is currently held until a $50,000 cash bail is posted, as cash is all the court is willing to accept. The charges against Bird are domestic violence, kidnapping, and strangulation. Prosecutors asked for a $100,000 cash bail, but the judge lowered it, setting a deadline for payment of 4 p.m. today per CBSBoston.
Bird was further instructed to have no contact with the victim or witnesses and is prohibited from going to the college campus of the victim. He is further prohibited from possessing a weapon of any kind, using drugs or alcohol, and has been ordered to continue his medical treatment plan. He was further instructed to remain in Massachusetts, with the exception that he can leave the state for his job.
Details in the Jabari Bird case: He is accused of assaulting his girlfriend for four hours in his apartment. He’s accused of strangling her multiple times, including once until she lost consciousness.
— Tom Westerholm (@Tom_NBA) September 13, 2018
Bird’s attorney, Brian Kelly, did not present his client’s side of the story during the hearing. Kelly instead focused on trying to keep his client out of jail, securing his ability to continue working, and getting his bail reduced; all tasks he accomplished. CBS Boston reported that Bird’s agent insisted posting an all-cash bail was “ridiculous,” but the Brighton Municipal Court only accepts cash, so this was not a special condition applied only to Bird.
Upon the conclusion of Bird’s hearing, CBS Sports reports that the Boston Celtics issued a statement which clarified that due to the nature of the charges against Bird, the league would be handling discipline and that they deplore any form of domestic violence.
“Most importantly, our thoughts are with the victim of this incident. The Celtics organization deplores domestic violence of any kind, and we are deeply disturbed by the allegations against Jabari Bird. Pursuant to Domestic Violence Policy in the NBA’s labor agreement, matters of this kind are handled by the League Office, not the team, and so the Celtics will be working with both the league and local authorities to assist in their ongoing investigations. The team will have no further comment at this time.”
As reported by TMZ Sports and CBS Sports, the assault is alleged to have lasted for several hours, during which the victim claims to have been strangled at least a dozen times. He is alleged to have dragged her away from the door by her ankles when she tried to escape. He is alleged to have thrown her against walls several times, as well as other undisclosed acts of violence alleged to have occurred during that period of time. The victim stated that she escaped when Bird began having “seizure-like symptoms.” She also reported that he texted her after she escaped stating that if she didn’t return to his apartment he would kill himself.
Boston police in a statement say Jabari Bird is being guarded at a local hospital for an evaluation after a domestic incident and that complaints will be sought against the suspect for assault & battery 209A, strangulation and kidnapping.
— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) September 8, 2018
It is unclear whether or not Bird will remain in custody at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, where he has been since apprehended, make bail, or be moved to a detention facility.