Celtics suspend Jared Sullinger following offseason arrest
The Celtics announced Tuesday that Jared Sullinger will be suspended for one game after the second-year forward was arrested in August for his role in an alleged domestic incident.
Sullinger will not play when Boston visits Toronto on Wednesday to open its 2013-14 regular season.
“Jared’s case was dismissed yesterday in Waltham District Court,” Celtics president Danny Ainge said in a statement. “While we are satisfied that this was the correct ruling, we are suspending Jared for one game because he failed to meet the high expectations we have for all Celtics employees.”
Sullinger was arrested in September and charged with assault for his role in an alleged domestic dispute with his girlfriend that took place in Massachusetts. He pleaded not guilty and posted a $5,000 bond after turning himself in.
An ESPN.com report Monday indicated that the woman decided not to pursue the case.
According to a Waltham, Mass. Police Department report obtained by MyFoxBoston.com, Sullinger and his girlfriend, who had been in a relationship for two years, got into a “verbal argument” at their townhouse after his girlfriend “found evidence on his cell phone that he was cheating on her.” Sullinger’s girlfriend attempted to pack a bag and leave, which led to an escalation of the argument that saw Sullinger “push her down onto the bed” and get on top of her. Sullinger then allegedly “threw her off the bed and onto the floor” and restrained her there before finally relenting when she threatened to call police. He also allegedly “shattered” the sides of her cell phone before leaving. Sullinger’s girlfriend was not seriously injured in the incident, although “red marks” were visible on her chest.
Sullinger issued an apology shortly after the incident.
“I voluntarily reported to the Waltham police this morning to respond to charges against me,” Sullinger said in the statement. “The experience was humbling and embarrassing for me. Yet 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. To all of you, I apologize from the bottom of my heart. My lawyers have advised me not to discuss the case at this time. But I wanted to immediately and publicly apologize to everyone affected by this situation.”
Sullinger, 21, was the No. 21 pick in the 2012 draft after spending two All-American seasons at Ohio State. He averaged 6 points and 5.9 rebounds in 19.8 minutes as a rookie before undergoing season-ending back surgery in February. Once regarded as a possible top-five talent, Sullinger slid in the draft due to medical red flags. He is viewed as a key piece for the Celtics, who are set to undertake a rebuilding effort after trading All-Star forward Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Nets this offseason.