The Douglas County District Attorney’s office on Wednesday dismissed the misdemeanor battery charge against Kansas basketball player Carlton Bragg and filed a battery charge against Saleeha Soofi, the woman who claimed Bragg punched her.
The decision by Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson came after the Lawrence Police Department obtained surveillance video, according to a release from the prosecutor’s office.
Bragg’s attorney, Hatem Chahine, argued in a motion filed Wednesday that his client acted in self defense. Before the charge was dropped, Bragg, who turned 21 Wednesday, pleaded not guilty after he was accused of striking Soofi, 19, in the face and pushing her down stairs in the early morning hours of Dec. 9.
Chahine’s motion said Bragg was at a party at the Delta Upsilon fraternity house near the KU campus when Soofi, also a KU student, grabbed his arm around midnight and walked him into a stairway, where she accused him of sleeping with her best friend. When Bragg started to speak, according to the defense motion, she yelled at him and struck him with an open palm on the right side of his face.
The defense motion said Soofi continued to yell at and hit Bragg until he tried to block her hand “at about the eighth slap.”
The release from the district attorney said the surveillance video depicted a male and female in a stairwell of a building engaged in an argument. The video showed the female shoved and slapped the male in the chest and placed her hands near the male’s neck.
“After being struck by female, the male forcefully shoves her away from him causing the female to fall backwards up the ascending stairs behind her,” according to the prosecutor’s office release.
The defense motion said Soofi was under the influence of alcohol. Bragg was suspected of alcohol and drug use when he was taken into custody, according to a Lawrence police report.
Bragg, according to the KU basketball roster, is 6 feet 10 and 240 pounds. Soofi was listed at 5 feet 5 in Douglas County jail records. She was held overnight on suspicion of battery but released Dec. 10 without charges.
Soofi did not return a message from The Star asking for comment.
“It was very clear this was a self-defense issue by my client,” Chahine told The Star.
Bragg had been indefinitely suspended by KU coach Bill Self from playing in games.