News

Former 49er accused of felony assault in Menlo Park

Kwame Harris is charged with felony assault

A jury trial is set for April in San Mateo County Superior Court for former San Francisco 49er offensive tackle and Palo Alto resident Kwame Harris. San Mateo County prosecutors have charged Mr. Harris with felony assault resulting in great bodily injury in a fight with a former romantic partner in August 2012 at Su Hong To Go, which serves Chinese takeout food at 630 Menlo Ave. in Menlo Park.

The alleged victim, Southern California resident Dmitri Geier, is suing Mr. Harris in civil court in San Mateo County over the incident. According to the civil complaint dated Oct. 24, 2012, Mr. Harris allegedly punched Mr. Geier in the face several times and with "full force," leaving him with broken bones around an eye socket, damage that required a steel plate to repair.

Sacramento-based attorney Alin Cintean, who is defending Mr. Harris in the criminal case, said that Mr. Geier hit Mr. Harris first and that Mr. Harris made a "reasonable response" to being "wrongfully assaulted." It was, Mr. Cintean added, "a verbal confrontation and escalated from there. Mr. Geier hit my client."

If convicted, Mr. Harris could spend up to nine years in state prison, Assistant District Attorney Albert A. Serrato told the Almanac. Prosecutors offered Mr. Harris a plea agreement, but he rejected it, Mr. Cintean said. Mr. Harris is out of custody on $75,000 bail. A trial is set for 8:45 a.m. on April 29.

According to the civil complaint and accounts by prosecutors, the incident began over a to-go container of rice that Mr. Harris and Mr. Geier were to share before Mr. Harris drove Mr. Geier to San Francisco International Airport. An argument ensued after Mr. Geier poured soy sauce into the open lid of the rice container and Mr. Harris objected, Mr. Serrato said.

After several minutes, Mr. Harris allegedly told Mr. Geier to find another way to the airport and that he (Mr. Harris) planned to throw Mr. Geier's belongings out of his car. Mr. Geier accepted this change in plans, prosecutors said, adding that he would retrieve his belongings. But on the way out of the restaurant, Mr. Harris allegedly began pushing Mr. Geier and trying to pull down his pants, accusing Mr. Geier of having stolen his underwear.

Mr. Harris is 6 feet 7 inches tall and, in his playing days, weighed 310 pounds, according to Pro-Football-Reference.com. The civil complaint describes Mr. Geier as "much smaller."

Once outside, Mr. Harris allegedly grabbed Mr. Geier by the front of his shirt and punched him several times on the arms. Mr. Geier punched back, managing to connect with Mr. Harris' face perhaps three times. Mr. Harris then allegedly punched Mr. Geier in the face several times and Mr. Geier fell to the ground.

Mr. Harris then removed Mr. Geier's belongings from his car and drove away. Mr. Geier managed to hail a cab and was treated at O'Connor Hospital in San Jose.

Comments

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Jan 29, 2013 at 5:12 pm

Putting the war in war wonton soup - glad he was busted. Egg on the face of PA, who love to brag about their famous resident. What a long, miserable cab ride for the victim. I'm sorry for his injuries - it sounds awful. I hope that he successfully recovers & that Harris pays the price. Really? Soy sauce & stolen undies? Grow up!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by why
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jan 29, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Who wants to bet that the main reason the media is jumping all over this story is because it involves a gay pro football player? Are the victims of domestic violence usually identified by name by the press?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Jan 29, 2013 at 5:29 pm

Yes, they sometimes are, unfortunately. I'm glad the story came out & I think it has little to do w/his being gay. Remember Barry Bonds's son getting violent w/his mom? She was named. I think it'd be good to hear from the media though as to why the victim is named here. Maybe due to the civil case?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Jan 29, 2013 at 8:16 pm

This is consistent behavior for our District Attorney.

Look to race and not being a member of the Blue Team, if this was a white 47 year old CHP officer causing head injury to his wife in front of the children, he would dismiss the case.
Whited, Martin 2007


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jan 30, 2013 at 4:05 pm

That's right nake a race issue out of issue. Peace officers convicted of domestic violance would be fired from his job. Can't carry a gun. Should be an interesting case.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of another community
on Jan 30, 2013 at 6:39 pm

Domestic Violence is a very serious issue

The victim in this matter suffered very serious wounds which required metal implants to his face and skull.

Why is the suspect out on just $75,000 bail?

He is a potential serious threat to the PA/MP community and should be in Jail until the conclusion of his trial.

At the very least he should be under house arrest with an ankle monitor

-curfew and mandatory drug testing until the verdict


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