The NYPD are close to issuing an arrest warrant for Kings forward Matt Barnes for assaulting a woman during a brawl at a New York nightclub last weekend, Graham Rayman of the New York Daily News reports. Barnes and teammate DeMarcus Cousins have been under investigation for their role in the fight. Cousins will likely not be charged, a police source told Rayman.
“They’ve got enough to charge Barnes with an assault on a woman,” the 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.”
The police will continue to investigate members of Barnes’ entourage. “They looked at several people inside the club,” the source added. “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.”
On Thursday, two people—Jasmine Besiso, a 26-year-old woman, and her boyfriend, Myrone Powell, a 35-year-old man—filed a federal lawsuit against Barnes and Cousins, claiming they were assaulted by the NBA players. Besiso said she was sitting with her boyfriend at a table adjacent to Barnes’ and claims she witnessed Barnes get into an altercation with another woman. Besiso claims that Barnes then suddenly appeared near her and began choking her until she was unconscious.
Powell’s lawyer claims Cousins sucker-punched Powell in the head when he tried to intervene. Powell was knocked to the floor at which time other members of Barnes’ entourage hit and stomped him, his Lawyer claims. Rayman notes that Powell had two black eyes when he appeared at a press conference on Thursday.
There’s a TMZ video showing Barnes and Cousins gloating outside of the club that night. TMZ also published pictures of scratch marks to Barnes’ neck as well as additional photos of Barnes. The site published photos of his hands without any injuries that may suggest he didn’t punch anyone, Rayman notes. Cousins and Barnes have maintained that they were simply defending themselves; Barnes’ lawyers declined to comment today.