KU basketball player Mario Little arrested after altercation involving girlfriend, suspended indefinitely
Kansas University senior basketball player Mario Little was arrested early Thursday on charges of battery, criminal damage and criminal trespassing.
By late morning, KU coach Bill Self said Little, a redshirt senior who transferred to KU from a junior college, would neither play nor practice with the team for the foreseeable future.
“He’s been suspended indefinitely and it’ll be significant,” Self told the media Thursday afternoon. “I’m not going to make any judgments until we see the police report and find out exactly what’s going on. (The charges) are misdemeanors, but are still very major and serious in our eyes. We’ll wait and see how that plays out.”
But Self did say that, in his opinion, this type of incident is not typical of Little’s character.
“Mario is a nice young man. He’s a good young man,” Self said. “He obviously … it got away from him last night, (which is) very disappointing to me because it’s something we stress quite hard and frequently here.
“He put himself in a bad position and exercised poor judgment, but that doesn’t take away from the fact he’s still on our team.”
Lawrence police say Little went to a residence in the 1200 block of Ohio Street to see a 22-year-old Lawrence woman, who police identified as his girlfriend. When he got there, she was inside the residence, with a 19-year-old Lawrence man, who is on KU’s baseball team. Little got into an altercation with that man.
Self said the female victim is a former manager for the basketball team who left the team a few weeks ago. He said he expected her to return to work for the athletics department at some time.
It is Journal-World policy not to identify victims of crimes.
Little, 22, was booked into jail about 5 a.m., posted $700 bond and was released, according to a jail staffer and records. He was given a notice to appear in Lawrence Municipal Court.
“I apologize for what happened last night,” Little said in a statement. “I feel awful, and I understand that I will have to deal with the consequences of my actions. I accept responsibility for those actions, and I apologize to my teammates for being irresponsible.”
Lawrence police Sgt. Matt Sarna gave this account of the events in a statement Thursday:
• Little went to the residence on Ohio and confronted both victims.
• The woman got out of the residence and ran to a friend’s apartment in the same block. Little pursued her.
• “After Little entered the residence, Little pushed a 22-year-old Lawrence female resident in an attempt to find” the girlfriend, Sarna said.
• Then in an upstairs bedroom, Little pushed his girlfriend into a sink. Sarna said Little also pushed a 24-year-old Lawrence man, who was trying to intervene, into a desk.
• Several people then broke up the fight and subdued Little until police arrived.
• The 19-year-old Lawrence man had a minor head injury, and Little’s girlfriend had injuries to her neck. Sarna said both refused medical treatment at the scene.
Sarna said Little was arrested on four counts of battery, two counts of criminal damage to property and one count of criminal trespassing.
A 22 year-old Lawrence man, Brandon C. Macias, a KU baseball player, was also cited for interfering with the duties of a law enforcement officer, during the course of the investigation.