Greg Oden arrested, charged with battery in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Police arrested former
NBA No. 1 draft pick Greg Oden on battery charges early Thursday,
alleging that he punched his ex-girlfriend in the face during a fight at
his mother’s suburban Indianapolis home.

The free agent center, who played for
the Miami Heat last season, was taken into custody at the home in
Lawrence on two preliminary counts of misdemeanor battery. Oden, 26,
remained in Marion County Jail as of mid-afternoon Thursday.

He was expected to appear for an initial
hearing sometime Thursday at the jail’s arrestee processing center, at
which time a judge may set Oden’s bond amount, said Peg McLeish, a
spokeswoman for the county prosecutor’s office.

Prosecutors plan to request for a
72-hour continuance to give them more time to decide what, if any,
formal charges Oden will face, she said.

According to a Lawrence police report,
officers were called to the home at around 3:30 a.m. and found a
24-year-old woman on a sofa with a swollen, bloody face. A friend of the
woman told officers that Oden had "punched her in the face."

The report says the injured woman was
uncooperative and told officers she had fallen, but was unable to say
when and where that occurred.

Oden told officers he and the woman had
dated for about two years but split up two months ago. According to the
report, he said he was arguing with his ex-girlfriend when "things got
out of control" and he struck her as he swung his arms to try to break
free of two people who were trying to hold him back.

One of Oden’s relatives, who said she
was awoken by the argument, told police that "every time the two visit
and go out, there is an argument to follow."

Oden’s agent, Michael Conley Sr.,
directed all questions to Oden’s attorney, James Bell. In a statement,
Bell said: "It would be inappropriate to comment at such an early stage
of this case. The court will schedule a hearing and we will allow that
process to play out."

The 7-foot Oden was a star at Lawrence
North High School in Indianapolis and then played a season at Ohio State
before the Portland Trail Blazers made him the top pick in the 2007 NBA
draft.

Knee injuries have derailed Oden’s
professional career, and he didn’t play from December 2009 until last
season, when he averaged 2.9 points in 23 games for the Heat. He is
currently without a team.