Houston Rockets forward Terrence Jones was arrested in Portland, Ore., on Wednesday after he was seen stomping on a homeless man’s leg, a police spokesman said.
A police sergeant making sure people remained orderly while they left a downtown club shortly after 2 a.m. saw the 6-foot-9 Jones walk by a doorway where two homeless men were sleeping and yell “Wake Up!” before lifting his foot and stomping on one man’s leg, said Sgt. Pete Simpson, a Portland police spokesman.
Jones, 21, was booked into the Multnomah County Jail on a misdemeanor harassment charge. He was released on his own recognizance and later pleaded not guilty at his arraignment. He did not speak with reporters. His next court date is Sept. 6.
The homeless man, identified as 46-year-old Daniel Kellerher, had a minor injury that did not require immediate medical attention, Simpson said.
Jones graduated from Portland’s Jefferson High School before attending the University of Kentucky.
The Rockets selected Jones with the 18th pick of the 2012 draft. He played sparingly in his rookie season, averaging 5.5 points in 19 games.
Rockets spokeswoman Tracey Hughes said the team had no comment, and Jones’ agent, Arn Tellem, did not immediately return a phone message left with his secretary Wednesday.
Victim of alleged stomping by Rockets’ Terrence Jones recounts attack
A 46-year-old homeless man who was reportedly stomped by Houston Rocket Terrence Jones Wednesday opened up about the attack Thursday.
Daniel Kellerher, who has struggled with homelessness and drug addiction for almost 20 years, said he was stomped in the back of his leg while he slept in a doorway on Northwest 3rd Avenue in Old Town Portland.
A police officer who witnessed the attack pulled over and spoke with Kellerher. Jones was then placed into custody and booked in the Multnomah County Jail on harassment charges.
“I didn’t do nothing. I was laying there sleeping,” Kellerher said. “It was a shock, you know? Something like an electric fence went through me at that point in time.”
Kellerher, who said he’s been in and out of the hospital for high blood sugar, told the officer that he wanted to press charges against Jones. Kellerher said he has slept under bridges, trees and in parks for 18 years and has never been attacked.
“You know it don’t feel good..It’s hard. I just want to cry,” he said. “It’s just hard to talk about because it hurts. I didn’t think anybody would ever do that.”
Kellerher said it still hurts to sit on one side.
“Why the heck does he want to mess with the homeless? That’s what I can’t figure out, why these guys out here they think they’re better than us, because we sleep in a doorway and they sleep in a god dang bed?” Kellerher said. “Ain’t nobody out here on these streets better than the next person. We all get up. We all put our pants on one leg at a time.”
On Wednesday afternoon, Jones pleaded not guilty to harassment. He was represented by Portland attorney Kevin O’Connell and was accompanied by his mother in court.
On Thursday afternoon, O’Connell released a statement to KGW.
“Terrence Jones denies the charge and, in fact, appeared in Multnomah County Circuit Court on July 31, 2012 where he entered a plea of not guilty. We believe that the case will be resolved favorably. We look forward to the next court appearance, scheduled for September 6, 2013,” the statement says.
Jones won three straight 5A titles with Jefferson and was a two-time player of the year. He was on the 2012 NCAA champion Kentucky Wildcats team where he played for two years.
Jones was drafted by the Houston Rockets with the 18th pick in the 2012 NBA draft.