Former NFL offensive tackle Kwame Harris appeared in court on Monday for a pretrial conference on charges of allegedly assaulting his ex-boyfriend. Harris was arrested last year after a wild argument over "soy sauce and underwear" turned into a violent scuffle, according to the San Mateo Daily Journal. Harris faces charges of felony domestic violence causing bodily harm and assault with the force to likely produce great bodily injury. The 40-year-old had pleaded not guilty to the charges arising from the assault incident but if Harris is indicted on the counts, he could face up to seven years in prison.
According to court documents, Harris' ex-boyfriend is also filing a civil suit against him on charges of "assault, battery, false imprisonment, negligence and both intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress." Although Harris and Dimiti Geier had parted ways romantically, they met as friends at a Tampa Bay Chinese restaurant back in August. Harris was later expected to drive Geier to the airport. However, after allegedly getting into a verbal dispute after Geier poured soy sauce on a plate of rice, Harris refused to drive his ex boyfriend to the airport and started chucking Geier's luggage out of his car.
At some point during the altercation, Harris accused his ex-boyfriend of stealing his underwear and attempted to pull down Geier's pants. They then got into a violent fight as Harris started to punch Geier in the arm. Although Geier, 6-foot-1, attempted to shake-off the 6-foot-7 Harris and struck him three times in the face, Harris didn't quit. He allegedly got angrier and more violent, punching his ex several times in the face and them leaving him in very bad shape on the roadside along with his luggage.
Dimiti Geier had to hail a cab to get to the San Jose hospital, where he was treated in the emergency ward. Eventually, Geier required surgery to repair several fractured orbital bones and have a metal plate fitted in the aftermath of the assault. Harris' attorney claims his client acted in self-defense and that this is a ploy to extort money out of Harris. "We're looking forward to having this proven in court and clearing his name," said Harris' attorney Alin Cintean.
Kwame Harris played six years in the NFL after he was selected in the first round by the San Francisco 49ers at the 2003 draft. He was signed by the Oakland Raiders during free agency on a three-year $16 million contract, but was released after appearing in just 11 games over one season. He played in 86 career games, including 55 NFL starts.