UCLA suspends Nikola Dragovic after felony charge
November 21, 2009
LOS ANGELES – UCLA starting forward Nikola Dragovic was suspended for the Bruins’ game against Cal State Bakersfield on Friday night following his arrest.
A statement distributed by a team spokesman just before tip-off said Dragovic was arrested earlier in the day and charged with felony assault by the Los Angeles district attorney’s office.
The school said the 21-year-old senior from Belgrade, Serbia, was involved in an incident last month at a concert in Hollywood. Dragovic filed a report with campus police the following week.
After an investigation, the district attorney’s office filed the felony charge against Dragovic, who found out about it Friday and turned himself into university and Los Angeles police. Dragovic was booked and released from the Hollywood station on $30,000 bail late Friday, Los Angeles police Officer Julie Boyer said.
After the Bruins’ 75-64 victory, coach Ben Howland said he accompanied Dragovic to the university police station. Howland said he planned to meet with the team’s only returning starter either late Friday or Saturday to find out what happened last month.
Howland said in the pre-game statement that Dragovic told him about the incident when it happened, but no one knew charges would be filed.
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Howland said Dragovic’s status for future games will be decided as more information becomes available. The Bruins’ next game is Monday against Pepperdine.
James Keefe started in place of Dragovic on Friday night.
“We don’t know what the situation is or how long he’s going to be out,” Keefe said.
It’s the second time in less than a year that Dragovic has been in trouble.
He was arrested last Nov. 7 on suspicion of pushing his former live-in girlfriend to the ground during a dispute. He was booked on suspicion of misdemeanor battery, but prosecutors decided not to file charges.
Dragovic was suspended for one game after that arrest.
“This is a second incident and that will be taken into account,” Howland said.