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Celtics power forward Jared Sullinger was charged with assault and battery, intimidation of a witness and destruction of personal property on Tuesday, following an argument with longtime girlfriend Deann Smith in their Waltham townhouse last weekend. Sullinger’s lawyer, Charles Rankin, said that his client traveled to his hometown of Columbus, Ohio, after the incident for a preplanned visit with his parents, then returned to Waltham and surrendered to police after he was informed that there was a warrant out for his arrest.
According to the police report, Smith told them that the argument started when she confronted Sullinger, who she suspected of cheating on her. He pushed her onto the bed, smashed her phone when she tried to call the police, and then pushed her to the floor before leaving to catch his plane to Columbus.
Sullinger was released on $5,000 bail and ordered to contact Smith only by telephone or with a third person present. Middlesex County Assistant District Attorney Sarah Ellis requested that Sullinger undergo a mental health evaluation, which Judge Gregory C. Flynn denied. Sullinger has no criminal record, but Ellis said that Smith told investigators he has been violent towards her in the past. Sullinger is due back in court on Thursday the 19th.
Following the arraignment, both the Celtics and the player released statements. The team’s brief statement read: “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. We will reserve further comment until such point that we have sufficient additional information.”
In his statement, Sullinger explained that he surrendered voluntarily, adding that “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.”
Sullinger played well as a rookie in 2012-13, averaging 6 points and 5.9 rebounds in 45 games before a back injury forced him to undergo surgery and miss the last three months of the season.
This is the second such incident involving a Boston player this year, after swingman Terrence Williams was charged with second-degree domestic assault in May. The investigation is ongoing, but Williams was waived by the Celtics on June 30, just before the start of the free agency period.