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Rockets Guard Kevin Porter Jr. Charged With Assaulting And Strangling His Girlfriend

Kevin Porter Jr. #3 of the Houston Rockets looks on during the game against the Golden State Warriors at Toyota Center on March 20, 2023 in Houston, Texas.
Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images

Houston Rockets guard Kevin Porter Jr. was arrested Monday in New York City and charged with felony assault and strangulation stemming from a 911 call that morning. According to an ESPN report, "[p]olice responded to a 911 call reporting an assault at 6:45 a.m. and arrested Porter, 23, after an investigation." Porter Jr. pleaded not guilty on Tuesday morning, and was released on $75,000 bail. His next court date is scheduled for Oct. 16.

According to the criminal complaint, which was obtained by the Associated Press, during the investigation Porter's girlfriend told authorities that the Rockets player punched her "repeatedly" in the face with a closed fist in their room at the Millennium Hotel in Manhattan, leaving bruises and a gash above the right eye. The complaint also said, per the AP, that Porter choked her and, as confirmed by testing at NYU Langone Medical Center, fractured a neck vertebrae. Speaking in court, an assistant Manhattan district attorney said that Porter had abused his girlfriend before, citing a time when Porter rammed into her car with his own.

The NBA said it is investigating. The Rockets had no comment besides acknowledging that the team was "gathering information." As reported by ESPN, the team is unable to suspend Porter until the NBA completes its investigation, as per the league's domestic violence policy, though it is unclear if the Rockets will allow him to report to training camp in early October. For now, NBA commissioner Adam Silver can put Porter on administrative leave with pay. When that's done, Silver can hand down punishments ranging from suspension and fines to a permanent ban from the NBA.

Porter has been arrested once before during his four-year NBA career. In November 2020, the then-Cleveland Cavalier flipped his Mercedes SUV while driving on Interstate 76. State troopers responded to the crash and said they found a loaded handgun plus what they believed to be marijuana in the SUV. A grand jury declined to indict Porter on the gun charge, and the other charges also were dismissed.

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