Attorney: NBA player 'tripped over' Portland homeless man - KCTV5

Attorney: NBA player 'tripped over' Portland homeless man

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Terrence Jones Terrence Jones
Terrence Jones in court Wednesday Terrence Jones in court Wednesday
Terrence Jones, file image Terrence Jones, file image
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A former local high school basketball star who now plays in the NBA is charged with harassment, but his attorney said Terrence Jones tripped over a homeless man in Portland.

Jones was taken into custody around 2 a.m. Wednesday outside the Tube night club on Northwest Third Avenue.

An officer patrolling the Old Town district saw a large group of people spilling into the street and said Jones yelled, "Wake up," where two homeless men were sleeping on the sidewalk. A Portland Police Bureau press release said Jones "then raised his leg and stomped down on one of the men's legs."

A statement issued by Kevin O'Connell, Jones' attorney, said that is not the case.

The statement says the term, "stomp," is inflammatory and was not included in the information from the district attorney. Instead, O'Connell wrote: "While acknowledging that Terrence may not have been looking where he was walking, with a crowd that had spilled out into the street and were being herded by the police back onto the sidewalk, Terrence tripped over Mr. Kellerher. He did yell at him to "wake up" and may have nudged him. He certainly would not, and did not, intend to cause Mr. Kellerher any harm."

The victim, 46-year-old Daniel Kellerher, suffered a minor leg injury, but didn't need medical attention, police said.

O'Connell referred to Jones as a "gentleman with not a mean bone in his body" who was raised by his mother and grandmother "to treat people, no matter who they are, with respect and kindness."

Jones pleaded not guilty to a harassment charge in Multnomah County Circuit Court Wednesday. He is due back in court Sept. 6.

Jones graduated from Jefferson High School in Portland. He played two years of college basketball at University of Kentucky, where he won a national championship.

He was then picked in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft by the Rockets. In his rookie season, he struggled to crack the lineup and played in only 19 games.

Copyright 2013 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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