Cops are closing in on arresting NBA player Matt Barnes for assaulting a woman during a raucous brawl at a Chelsea nightclub, sources said Friday.
Barnes, 36, and fellow Sacramento King player DeMarcus Cousins, 26, have been under investigation for their role in the fight early Monday at the swanky Avenue nightclub on 10th Ave. near W. 17th St.
“They’ve got enough to charge Barnes with an assault on a woman,” a police source said. “It will probably be a misdemeanor assault on one of the females who was pushed or choked or sustained some sort of injury. She’s obviously cooperating.”
Cousins, a key member of the gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic basketball team, will likely not be charged, the source said.
Members of Barnes’ entourage and others are also under police scrutiny.
“They looked at several people inside the club,” “There were some people struck by bottles but that didn’t seem to come from the players. There was a little bit of a mini free for all.”
Jasmine Besiso, 26, and her boyfriend, Myrone Powell, 35, filed a federal lawsuit against Barnes and Cousins on Thursday. Besiso claims Barnes choked her into unconsciousness.
Powell had two black eyes when he appeared at a press conference announcing the suit Thursday. His lawyer Michael Lamonsoff claims Cousins sucker-punched Powell in the side of his head. Powell was then stomped and hit by Barnes and other members of his entourage, according to the lawyer.
Besiso and Powell said they were sitting in a table next to the Barnes and Cousins group when Besiso noticed some kind of altercation between Barnes and another woman, believed to be Barnes’ girlfriend, and got up to leave.
Besiso claims that Barnes suddenly appeared and began choking her, Lamonsoff said Thursday.
Powell tried to intervene and was slammed in the head by the 7-foot, 300-pound Cousins, and then attacked more while he was on the ground, according to the lawyer’s account.
Video obtained by TMZ.com appears to show Barnes and Cousins gloating outside the club after the fight.
Barnes and Cousins have insisted Barnes was merely defending himself in the fracas.
Someone gave TMZ photos of scratch marks on Barnes’ neck Thursday to emphasize the point. The site said photos of his hands showed no injuries that would suggest he punched anyone.
Barnes’ lawyer declined to comment Friday.
Barnes has not posted anything to social media since Monday, when he said on Instagram “There’s always two sides to a story. The side the media consistently tries to paint of me … And what actually happened!”
The Kings host the Knicks in Sacramento Friday night and play the Utah Jazz Saturday.
On Thursday, Sacramento Bee columnist Ailene Voisin called the flap “exactly what the Kings don’t need.”
“Did Barnes choke a woman? Did Cousins kick a man while he was on the ground?” she wrote.
“What a mess. What an unnecessary mess.”
With Shayna Jacobs
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News