Former San Francisco 49er Kwame Harris has been charged with felony domestic violence and assault charges in connection with an August 2012 incident involving an ex-boyfriend. Harris pleaded "not guilty" at Monday's preliminary hearing in San Mateo and is free on $75,000, reports FOX Sports.
Harris was an offensive tackle who played five seasons with the Super Bowl-bound 49ers and one season with the Oakland Raiders. The former pro-footballer allegedly attacked his ex-boyfriend at a restaurant, adds the San Francisco Chronicle.
Harris, 30, became angry with Dimitri Geier, 36. The ex-football player got incensed when Geier tried to put soy sauce on Harris' rice, said Al Serrato, a San Mateo County prosecutor. During the restaurant argument, Harris accused Geier of stealing his underwear, Serrato said. Harris then tried to pull down Geier's pants, the prosecutor said.
Harris, 6-foot-7 and 240 pounds, then pinned Geier (6-1, 220 pounds) against a plate-glass window and hit him several times in the face and head, Serrato said. Doctors at O'Connor Hospital in San Jose determined that Geier had sustained complex compound facial fractures that required surgery and the insertion of a metal plate.
Prosecutors are pursuing the domestic violence charge because Harris and Geier used to live together. Harris now becomes one of only a handful of former pro-footballers to come out of the closet, notes FOX Sports.
Although a handful of former NFL players have come out as gay, none has while still wearing a uniform. Cintean said Harris, who played for Stanford before he was drafted by the 49ers in 2003 and has gone back to school to finish his undergraduate degree, identifies as gay but "is not very public about it. He is a very private person. He doesn't like to talk about his personal life," [Harris' lawyer, Alin Cintean] said.
One final note: It would be a cheap shot to joke about Harris and Geier's argument at the restaurant. Domestic violence is never a laughing matter ... and the escalating number of cases have become almost an epidemic in sports.
In 2010, "there were 125 [professional and college athletes] arrested during a six month period, including 70 college football players," reports ESPN's Jemele Hill. "Domestic violence cases accounted for nearly 20 percent of the total."