By Rick Callahan ,AP
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana — Police arrested former NBA No. 1 draft pick Greg Oden on battery charges early Thursday, alleging that he punched his ex-girlfriend in the face during a fight. The free agent center, who played for the Miami Heat last season, was arrested at his mother’s suburban home on two preliminary counts of misdemeanor battery.
Oden, 26, was released from custody Thursday evening. Online Marion County Jail records show Oden was released on a US$10,000 bond.
According to a police report, officers were called to the home at around 3:30 a.m. and found a 24-year-old woman on a sofa with a swollen, bloody face. A friend of the woman told officers that Oden had “punched her in the face.”
The report says the injured woman was uncooperative and told officers she had fallen, but was unable to say when and where that occurred.
Oden told officers he and the woman had dated for about two years but split up two months ago. According to the report, he said he was arguing with his ex-girlfriend when “things got out of control” and he struck her as he swung his arms to try to break free of two people who were trying to hold him back.
One of Oden’s relatives, who said she was awoken by the argument, told police that “every time the two visit and go out, there is an argument to follow.”
Oden’s agent, Michael Conley Sr., directed all questions to Oden’s attorney, James Bell. In a statement, Bell said: “It would be inappropriate to comment at such an early stage of this case. The court will schedule a hearing and we will allow that process to play out.”
The 7-foot Oden was a star at Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis and then played a season at Ohio State before the Portland Trail Blazers made him the top pick in the 2007 NBA draft.
Knee injuries have derailed Oden’s professional career, and he didn’t play from December 2009 until last season, when he averaged 2.9 points in 23 games for the Heat.