Former NFL offensive tackle Kwame Harris reportedly was scheduled to appear in court Monday on assault charges stemming from an argument with his ex-boyfriend over soy sauce and underwear at a northern California restaurant.
Harris, 30, who played for the San Francisco 49ers from 2003-07 and for the Oakland Raiders in 2008, has been charged with felony counts of domestic violence causing great bodily injury and assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury in relation to the August 2012 incident, The (San Mateo, Calif.) Daily Journal reported.
He has pleaded not guilty but was due back in court Monday for a pretrial conference, the newspaper reported. If convicted, Harris reportedly faces up to seven years in prison.
Harris' ex-boyfriend, Dimitri Geier, also reportedly has filed a civil suit against Harris for assault, battery, false imprisonment, negligence and both intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
According to the report, Harris and Geier had been involved in a romantic relationship but were just friends when they met at Su Hong restaurant in Menlo Park. Harris intended to drive Geier to San Francisco International Airport, but instead was upset when Geier poured soy sauce on a plate of rice, according to the civil suit.
The men argued, the suit states, and Harris decided not to take Geier to the airport. As the men left, Harris reportedly tried to pull Geier's pants down and accused him of stealing his underwear.
Harris, who is listed at 6 feet 7 and 240 pounds in the police report, and Geier (listed at 6-foot-1 and 220 pounds) then fought, the suit states, with both parties throwing punches. Harris, however, punched Geier in the face several times until he fell, the suit states.
Geier reportedly was taken to an emergency room in San Jose. He had surgery to repair broken orbital bones, The Daily Journal reported.
Harris' lawyer, Alin Cintean, told The Daily Journal that Harris was charged because Geier was injured. "This really is a pure self-defense case. He was attacked," Cintean said of Harris. "We're looking forward to having this proven in court and clearing his name."
Harris also has filed a legal response to Geier's lawsuit denying all claims, The Daily Journal reported.