University of Kansas

Affidavit: Alleged victim told police KU’s Pooka Williams punched her, grabbed throat

Kansas running back Pooka Williams Jr.
Kansas running back Pooka Williams Jr. File photo/The Associated Press

An 18-year-old woman told a University of Kansas police officer that KU running back Pooka Williams punched her in the stomach and grabbed her by the throat, according to an arrest affidavit filed in Douglas County District Court.

The two-page document, released to The Star on Thursday, revealed further details of Williams’ misdemeanor charge of domestic battery, which stems from an incident between Williams and the alleged victim that took place on Dec. 5.

According to the affidavit, a KU police officer interviewed the 18-year-old alleged victim at around 11:15 a.m. on Dec. 6. The female stated “she was punched in the stomach, as well as grabbed by the throat” by Williams at Stouffer Apartments on campus the previous day.

The affidavit said the woman had bruises on her arms and side. The alleged victim also showed text messages to the officer from Williams “where he admitted to punching (her) in the arms,” according to the affidavit.

Williams was interviewed by the officer, where he “advised he had pushed (the alleged victim) when he saw her in a room with other guys,” according to the affidavit.

Both the alleged victim and Williams stated they had an intimate relationship with each other after having first met in July of 2018.

Williams made an initial appearance in Douglas County District Court on Dec. 7, with his attorney, Hatem Chahine, pleading not guilty on his behalf to the misdemeanor charge. Judge James T. George set bond for Williams at $1,000 while also ordering Williams to not have any contact with the alleged victim. George also ordered that Williams not return to the alleged victim’s residence.

The next court date for Williams is scheduled for 9 a.m. Jan. 9.

KU football coach Les Miles suspended Williams from the team earlier this month. When contacted Thursday, the KU football program referred to Miles’ previous comment on the matter from Dec. 7.

“We are aware of a reported incident involving Pooka Williams and we are taking these allegations very seriously,” Miles said then. “We have suspended Pooka from all team-related activities pending further investigation.”

Williams, who was the Big 12’s offensive freshman of the year and also a first-team all-Big 12 coaches selection at both running back and kick returner, rushed for 1,125 yards last season.

Jesse Newell — he’s won an EPPY for best sports blog and previously has been named top beat writer in his circulation by AP’s Sports Editors — has covered KU sports since 2008. His interest in sports analytics comes from his math teacher father, who handed out rulers to Trick-or-Treaters each year.